A new report from Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) demonstrates how state clean energy funds have emerged as a major driver of renewable energy projects across the U.S. Within the past decade, states from Connecticut to California have funded 52,000 projects using the full range of renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower. The 10-year voluntary investment by states of $1.9 billion has leveraged $10.1 billion in additional project investment and added 2.5 new, clean gigawatts (GW) to the grid.
'Today, the states are the major driving force in funding renewable energy projects throughout the U.S.,' said CESA's Executive Director, Mark Sinclair. 'States understand that clean energy has a key role in driving their environmental and economic progress. In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever to champion state efforts to invest in the nation's clean energy future."
The report, State Clean Energy Fund Support for Renewable Energy Projects, describes the progress of the fifteen most successful clean energy investment funds across the U.S. in the last decade:
- From 1998-2008, CESA-member states supported 52,000 new renewable energy projects.
- Over this period, the funds invested over $1.9 billion in state dollars, which in turn has leveraged $10.1 billion in private capital, bringing the total public and private investment to over $12 billion.
- 2008, the most recent year of complete records, was the most successful year to date, with 12,500 clean energy project installations (a 13% increase over 2007 and 24% of all installations since 1998).
- The 12,500 projects installed in 2008 supported the creation of 5,000 jobs and will generate 1.2 million megawatt-hours of electricity per year and avoid 382,500 tons of CO2 emissions per year ' the equivalent of taking 66,000 cars off the road.
By supporting creative finance, policy, and market initiatives, the states have been serving as laboratories where ideas for implementing clean energy can be tested and proven in the real world, and have been leading the way ' across the nation ' in deploying clean energy, even without a mandate at the federal level. The states are proving that they are key partners and allies in national efforts to secure a clean energy future, and have the right mechanisms in place to grow the green economy from the ground up.
The database and associated report were generously supported by the New York Community Trust.
A copy of the report can be downloaded at: http://www.cleanenergystates.org/Publications/CESA_2008_CEDatabase_Rpt_June2010.pdf.