Massachusetts ranked second in the nation behind only California for its commitment to clean energy technology, according to an annual index released that also placed Boston as the 10th best city for clean technology innovation and expansion.
The report, published by Clean Edge Inc, with The Energy Foundation and Wells Fargo, said Massachusetts is one of only a few states to consistently compete with California, showing strong leadership in early-stage technology development and an ability to attract capital. Massachusetts eclipsed Oregon for the first time since Clean Edge started tracking state activity four years ago.
Massachusetts received a score of 77.8 topping third place Oregon by five points, but still trailing California, which registered 91.7 points. The scale ranked states based on a variety of factors relating to technology, public policy and financial and human capital.
Venture capital investments in Massachusetts in 2012 per capita topped those in California, and interest in the clean technology industry from the state’s renowned universities gave the surveyors confidence that Massachusetts would remain “an integral clean-tech innovation hub for years to come.”
New York and Colorado rounded out the top five states in the survey.
Massachusetts topped the nation in the policy category, buoyed by strong regulations and mandates on carbon emissions and incentives for installing and developing clean and efficient energy sources and buildings.
The state also had the strongest venture capital performance in 2012 of any other state, attracting $504.7 million through 40 deals for per capita investment of $75.94. California ranked second with $58.51 per capita in venture capital investments in 2012.
Massachusetts ranked eighth overall for clean energy patents with 46 total patents awarded in 2012, or 6.9 patents per 1 million people. And the state finished 14th for technology, including ninth place for installed solar capacity, seventh place for registered electric hybrid vehicles, and sixth for LEED building deployment.
According to the Patrick administration, 5,000 clean energy companies do business in Massachusetts employing nearly 72,000 workers. Clean energy jobs in Massachusetts rose by 11.2 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Boston was the only state in the Northeast to crack the top 10 metro areas for clean technology, dropping one position from last year’s survey to tenth place on a list topped by San Francisco.
The report called Boston a “hub” for investment, innovation and a strong workforce, trailing only San Jose and San Francisco in those scoring categories.