According to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, solar and wind energy now generate more than 20% of the electricity used in 10 states. Topping the list is Iowa, which got 37% of its electricity from wind and solar in 2017. The next three states were Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, all getting more than 30% of their power from the renewables. The top five states, which adds North Dakota to the list, actually get nearly all of their renewable energy from wind. In fact, during some months in 2017, Iowa and Kansas both got more than half of their electricity from wind.
Number six on the list, with 24% renewable power, is Vermont and its generation is evenly split between wind and solar power. Number seven, California, gets 22% of its power from renewables and most of that is solar. Of course, these are all in percentage terms and not in absolute amounts of energy. By that standard, California is producing more renewable power than the other states.
Maine, Colorado and Minnesota round out the list of states getting more than 20% of their electricity from renewables. Overall, however, wind and solar power accounted for just 8% of total electricity generation in the United States in 2017.
Several additional states will likely reach the 20% threshold soon, including Hawaii and Texas. Hawaii is adding solar power at rapid pace and Texas, which already leads the nation in wind power is now undergoing a solar boom. States like New York and New Jersey have established mandates to reach 50% renewable electricity by the year 2050, so both are expected to reach the 20% mark during the next five years.
Combined wind and solar made up at least 20% of electric generation in 10 states in 2017
Photo, posted September 3, 2011, courtesy of Puget Sound Energy via Flickr.
‘Growing Use of Wind and Solar’ from Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
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