Mass. ranks second in clean tech index

Boston comes in 10th among cities

MASSACHUSETTS RANKED SECOND behind California in a clean tech leadership index released on Tuesday by Clean Edge, a research and advisory firm based in San Francisco. Boston ranked 10th in a similar index for cities.

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Massachusetts ousted Oregon to take second place in the state index for the first time. Clean Edge said it ranks states based on more than 70 indicators, including clean electricity, policy incentives, and venture capital investment. Massachusetts topped the list in the overall policy and capital investment categories, attracting $75.94 per capita for clean-tech investments compared to California’s $58.50 per capita. However, as with many Northeast states, the Bay State fell behind in areas such as installed wind and solar capacity, driving it out of technology’s top ten.

Despite these shortcomings, Clean Edge touts the Bay State for consistently competing with clean-tech’s king, California. According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the state is home to 4,995 clean energy firms, employing almost 72,000 workers. Between July 2011 and July 2012, clean energy jobs rose in the state by 11.2 percent. The report cites Massachusetts’ energy efficiency commitment, strong industry policy, and capital attraction as reasons for its competitive rank.

Boston also excelled in the firm’s Metro Area Index, placing tenth below cities like San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles. For the second straight year, Boston  was the only Northeastern city in the top ten. “Thanks to its world-class research bona fides from MIT and many other universities, and a strong VC-fueled technology culture, Boston remains the East Coast capital of clean-tech entrepreneurship,” the report noted.

 Gov. Deval Patrick, who has made the development of green energy a centerpiece of his administration, said the Clean Edge ranking is recognition that the state has become a destination for clean energy innovation and investment.  “There is more to do, and now is no time to let up,” he said in a statement. “In order to be winners in the 21st century, we must increase the pace of innovation and deepen our commitment to being good stewards of both our environment and our economy.”