Midwestern states joining the clean energy party

Leadership on clean energy issues is often thought to be a bicoastal affair, with states in the West and Northeast in the forefront, Oakley Brooks reports at Miller-McCune. But a new report says some Midwestern states are stepping up.

Seven of the top 10 states cited for clean energy leadership still are on the East and West coasts, consulting firm Clean Edge says (Connecticut is No. 8).  But things are going on elsewhere as well.

Iowa, for example, leads the nation in wind power, exporting electricity to other states trying to meet clean energy goals. Michigan had the most clean energy patents in 2009, a result of university and corporate researchers working to clean up the auto industry. And Michigan and Ohio between them have some 8,000 jobs in the solar manufacturing industry.

“Different states will prove innovative in one area or another, and, ultimately, states that didn’t develop innovations start to copy others,” said John Harte of the University of California, Berkeley. “We have to start borrowing from each other.”