When the current economic recession hit the United States in earnest in 2008, few states were impacted as hard as California, as unemployment spiked and countless public projects were left unfunded. The Golden State appears to be making steady progress in recent months, however, by revisiting its environmentally friendly roots and leveraging clean technology patents.
According to the latest independent analysis from Next 10, the solar sector has been a driving force behind California's renewed reputation as a startup haven. In 2011, nearly two-thirds of global venture capital funding for solar technologies was generated in California. The year before, the number of patents related to solar processes registered in the state doubled to 105 unique awards.
"[Venture capital] investment and patent filings are two economic indicators that signal positive future growth in terms of jobs and businesses," Next 10 founder and local businessman F. Noel Perry explained. "California's commitment to an economy that is cleaner will also give us an economy that is stronger."
As noted by the Sacramento Bee, California's 1,000-megawatt installed solar capacity puts the state's green power potential on par with many developed nations. The state now derives 13.7 percent of its energy from renewable resources.