Californians Spend Less on Electricity; Drive Fewer Miles per Capita than Rest of Country

Billions Saved Due to Green Innovation Spur Economy

New Report Shows CA Leads World in GHG Reductions, Economic Growth

Nov 13, 2007, 00:00 ET from Next 10

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Statistics released today in
 the inaugural "California Green Innovation Index" run counter to
 conventional wisdom and paint a different picture of California's energy
 history and future than previously reported. Despite the State's reputation
 for high electricity costs, Californians, per capita, pay lower utility
 bills and spend billions less of their state economy as a whole on
 electricity than the rest of the country because of energy efficiency,
 according to Index data. California also emits fewer GHG emissions per
 capita than Germany, the United Kingdom or Japan. At the same time,
 multi-billion dollar energy efficiency savings help drive the state
 economy. As a fraction of a state's gross domestic product, the Texas
 electricity bill is almost double the California electricity bill --
 representing $25 billion in savings for California in 2005 alone. And,
 contrary to popular wisdom, Californians, per capita, drive far fewer miles
 per vehicle than the rest of the country, but overall vehicle sales and
 total miles traveled continue to grow.
     The "California Green Innovation Index" ( is an
 initiative of Next 10, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, founded and
 funded by venture capitalist F. Noel Perry. Designed to track key economic,
 energy and environmental indicators, the Index provides critical data on
 the impact of innovation on the state's economic and environmental health
 as California moves to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels
 as mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). A PDF
 of the Index can be found at:
     "As a venture capitalist, I recognize the challenges presented by
 global warming and the opportunities provided by AB 32. But whether we
 maximize those opportunities is dependent upon how this law is implemented.
 We developed the Index to gauge progress and uncovered some surprising
 trends," said Perry. "Over the past thirty years, California has been on a
 different path than the rest of the nation and the world. Through
 innovation, California has become a global leader in energy efficiency and
 the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which, contrary to conventional
 wisdom, has helped it grow one of the largest economies in the world."
     Chief among Index findings:
     --  As a result of the first wave of green innovation, which began in the
         1970s, it comes as no surprise that California is more energy
         efficient and emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the
         United States as a whole.  However, California also emits fewer GHG
         emissions per capita than Germany, the United Kingdom or Japan.
     --  With the eighth largest economy in the world and one of the nation's
         highest gross domestic products per capita, California's per capita
         GHG emissions are less than one-half the rest of the nation and are
         lower than they were 15 years ago.  Among states, only Rhode Island
         emits fewer GHG emissions per capita than California.
     --  Green innovation, combined with other factors, allow Californians to
         spend less on electricity and have more to spend on other parts of the
         economy than the rest of the nation.  (Chart 7)
     --  The average monthly residential electricity bill in California is less
         than half of the average monthly bill in Texas, representing a total
         savings for Californians of nearly $25 billion in 2005.  As a fraction
         of the state economy, Texas' overall electricity bill is almost double
         California's bill. (Charts 7 and 8)
     --  California building and appliance standards alone have saved
         $56 billion through 2003 and are expected to save another $23 billion
         by 2013.
     --  California utility programs and efficiency standards have reduced the
         need for 24 power plants between 1975 and 2006.
     --  California has established itself as a world leader in green
         innovation.  California inventors account for 44 percent of total U.S.
         patents for solar and 37 percent of total U.S. patents for wind
         technology. The state attracted 36 percent of total venture capital
         investment in clean energy, indicating our state's leadership in the
         innovation of new technologies. (Chart 34)
     --  Since 1990, green business establishments in the state have grown by
         84 percent and employment has doubled. Growth in green establishments
         has been strongest in solar energy generation. (Chart 39)
     --  California has fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita than the
         rest of the country.  While per capita VMT in the rest of the country
         has grown consistently since 1995, in California per capita VMT has
         declined in recent years, and is only slightly higher than in 1995.
         (Chart 21)
     --  From 2000-2005, registrations of alternative fuel vehicles (not
         including Flex Fuel Vehicles or FFV) increased 1800 percent.
         (Chart 30)
     --  Per capita petroleum consumption in California has fallen consistently
         since 1989 and is now below 1970 levels. (Chart 18)
     The Index identifies drivers critical to California's first wave of
 innovation including public policy, private investment and consumer
 attitude, and presents indications that similar drivers are at work today.
 Since the passage of AB 32, clean tech venture capital investments have
 exploded in California, more than doubling from $364 to $884 million last
 year alone, accounting for the largest share of U.S. venture capital.
     To better understand consumer attitude in California, Next 10
 commissioned a Field Poll, which was released November 8th. Survey results
 depict a citizenry more informed, concerned and ready to take action on
 global warming than the rest of the United States. The Index contains
 additional new survey results indicating an appreciation of California's
 role in innovation: 85 percent of Californians agree the state can reduce
 greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and, at the same time,
 expand jobs and economic prosperity. 77 percent agree that firms and
 government researchers will develop new technologies to combat the problem
 of global warming. 90 percent of Californians believe California can be a
 leader in new technologies to improve efficiency and reduce global warming.
 (66 percent agree strongly.)
     While many of the Index findings illustrate the opportunities innovation
 can bring to the state, the Index also underscores the challenges that lie
     --  While California has made enormous progress, the state's rate of
         population growth and impacts on fuel and electricity consumption and
         greenhouse gas emissions require that the next wave of innovation be
         larger, faster and more powerful than the last to meet the mandate of
         AB 32. (Chart 44)
     --  While Californians, per capita, are increasingly driving fewer miles
         per vehicle than the rest of the country, overall vehicle miles
         traveled continue to grow.  With nearly 41 percent of California's GHG
         emissions coming from the transportation sector, reducing GHG
         emissions per vehicle is critical to reaching the mandate of AB 32.
         (Chart 21 and 20)
     --  While California has registered more green technology patents than
         other states, foreign inventors are registering more patents than U.S.
     --  Federal green technology research and development monies to California
         have declined precipitously over the last ten years, falling from $7.8
         million in 1997 to $410,000 in 2006. (Chart 32)
     "The Index data makes it clear that California will need to move
 farther faster if it is to successfully meet the targets set by AB 32,"
 said Doug Henton of Collaborative Economics, a Silicon Valley-based firm
 that prepared the Index for Next 10, "But the data also indicates we may be
 at an inflection point between the first wave and a new wave of green
     California Air Resources Board (CARB) chair Mary Nichols commented, "I
 am very encouraged that the California Green Innovation Index will be a
 powerful tool to track the valuable lessons learned as California makes
 history meeting the mandate of AB 32."
     The Next 10 "California Green Innovation Index" identifies and tracks
 over 40 data indicators drawn from state and federal agency sources,
 academic institutions and proprietary databases. In coming years, the Index
 plans to develop indices and track data on regional performance, as well as
 the impacts of policy. The Index was produced in partnership with
 Collaborative Economics, a Mountain View, California-based research and
 consulting organization that works with senior executives from business,
 foundations, government, education and community sectors to identify
 economic, environmental and social trends and promote regional innovation.
 For over a decade, Collaborative Economics has prepared the annual Index of
 Silicon Valley for Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network.
     Next 10 is an independent, nonpartisan organization that educates,
 engages and empowers Californians to improve the state's future. Next 10 is
 focused on innovation and the intersection between the economy, the
 environment and quality of life issues for all Californians. Next 10
 employs research from leading experts on complex state issues and creates a
 portfolio of nonpartisan educational materials to foster a deeper
 understanding of the critical issues affecting our state. On November 14,
 Next 10 is launching an updated website, This
 dynamic new site houses an online digest of the core findings contained in
 the California Green Innovation Index, and includes video clips and
 animated graphics.

SOURCE Next 10