How important are renewable energies as a source of electricity? Consider that experts are expecting power outages this summer as parts of the power grids in the United States will be overloaded. The Wall Street Journal recently reported“Last week, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) warned that two-thirds of the United States could experience power outages this summer.”
You don’t have to look very far back to see how bad the problem has been recently. Hurricane Ida knocked out power to most of New Orleans. Some neighboring towns did not recover their electricity for weeks. It caused similar problems as it moved northeast and into New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. In March 2021, massive snowstorms knocked out power to much of Texas. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which controls most of the state’s energy, nearly collapsed. Local renewables may have helped soften some of these blows.
Yet some states are moving to renewables faster than others. Using data from the US Energy Information Administration, 24/7 Wall St. identified the state producing the most electricity from renewable sources. States have been ranked according to the share of electricity generation from renewable sources, which are: biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind.
Depending on the state, the share of electricity generation from renewable sources varies from 2.5% to almost 100%. Encouragingly, the vast majority of states have increased their renewable electricity generation in recent years. Over the past decade, renewable sources as a share of total energy production have increased by more than 5 percentage points in most states.
It is important to note that while the transition to renewable energy sources is essential to achieving a pollution-free energy sector, not all renewable energy sources are carbon neutral, nor are all non-carbon energy sources. renewables do not emit greenhouse gases. Biomass, such as wood waste and crop residues, is renewable, but when burned to generate electricity, it creates carbon. Similarly, although nuclear power plants are not classified as renewable sources, they do not produce air pollution.
The state that produces the most electricity from renewable sources is Vermont. Here are the details:
> Electricity from renewable sources, 2020: 99.9% of the total (2.2 million MWh)
> 10 years. change in the share of renewable energies: +72.3 ppt. (the highest)
> First source of renewable energy: Conventional Hydroelectric (1.1 million MWh)
> First source of non-renewable energy: Natural gas (2021.0 MWh)
Methodology: To identify how much renewable energy your state produces, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the percentage of electricity each state produced from renewable sources in 2020 from the Energy Information Administration. Renewable energy sources include conventional hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, wood and wood-based fuels, and other biomass. The largest source of renewable and non-renewable energy for each state also came from the EIA report.
Click here to read the states producing the most electricity from renewable sources