Six states now get 20 percent or more of their electric generation from renewable energy, not including utility-scale hydro generation. Three now get 30 percent or more from renewables—and they’re not the ones most would expect. The leaders are Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas, each of which now generate 30 percent or more of their electric generation from wind power.
It’s looking like those numbers will keep going up as well. After all the report found that 61 percent of all new power generation added in the US in 2016 was from renewable resources—and that was for the second year in a row.
"Declining costs for solar and wind are the key driver fueling renewables' rise," said Clean Edge managing director Ron Pernick. "In many regions around the nation, utility-scale onshore wind and solar, even without subsidies, now beat coal, nuclear, and even combined-cycle natural gas on cost for new generation assets."
Those leaders are chased by Oklahoma and North Dakota as well as California, each of which is now generating 20 percent or more of their electric generation from renewables. While Oklahoma and North Dakota are also getting their renewable energy from wind, California is getting it from wind solar, and geothermal. That’s according to the latest U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index from Clean Edge. It’s the eighth annual edition of the report, which tracks the clean-energy activities of each state as well as the 50 largest metro areas in the country.
While three states now get 30 percent of more of the electricity from wind power, California remained the leader in the index for the overall amount of renewable energy it has online, as it has for each of the eight years Clean Edge has produced the index. Massachusetts retained its position in second place for overall renewables installed, which it’s held for five years. Vermont, Oregon and New York rounded out the top five as they have for the past two years as well.
The list of the top 10 states for renewable electricity generation in the index were rounded out by Colorado, Vermont, Minnesota and Nevada. The index observed they represent a politically diverse set of states as five are led by Democrats and five by Republicans. The index said it the diversity of states on the list shows that despite the Trump administration pursuing its agenda to revitalize coal that states and cities are playing bigger role in expanding clean energy generation.
On the cities side of the index, Clean stated that San Francisco and San Jose continued to lead the index as they have in the past five years. It also noted that its top 10 metro leaders have 100 percent renewable energy goals in place.
Clean Edge added a jobs metric to the index this year. “A total of 2.4 million jobs nationwide (including those in solar, wind, and hydro generation; ethanol and biomass fuels; storage and smart grid; and energy efficiency) reflect the economic vitality of the sector,” the company said. “Solar and wind power generation jobs (473,881 combined nationwide), for example, now outpace jobs in natural gas electric power generation (362,118) and coal power generation (160,119).”Tweet