Texas retains its huge lead as the largest generator of electricity in the U.S., including the largest total amount of renewable energy generation and the largest year-over-year additions of renewable energy, according to EnergyBoom’s analysis of the latest U.S. Energy Information Agency data for January and February 2011 released May 13. Renewable energy in this data is defined as wind, solar, wood-derived fuels and biomass, and geothermal.
Texas generated 64,166 thousand megawatt hours (kMWh) of power during January and February 2011, including 4,785 kMWh from renewables. Texas renewable generation increased 7.45% compared with the same months of 2010. Second largest power generator was Pennsylvania, with 39,731 kMWh, of which only 711 kMWh (1.79%) came from renewables.
Other renewable power datapoints in the EIA report:
- The highest renewables rate of growth was Washington state’s 86.3% to 1,274 kMWh. Renewables comprised 6.33% of Washington state’s total generation of 20,127 kMWh for January and February 2011.
- The nine states with renewables generation comprising more than 10% of net generation had average residential electricity prices of 10.38 cents per kilowatt hour (¢KWh), compared with the national average of 11.09 ¢KWh.
- The 12 states with renewables generation comprising less than 2% of net generation had average residential electricity prices of 10.94 ¢KWh. Apart from this group, Alaska had zero measurable renewables generation and average residential electricity prices of 16.68 ¢KWh.
Overall Generation & Renewables
States with the largest overall amount of electricity generation (and their renewables generation) for January and February 2011:
- Texas 64,166 kMWh (4,785 kMWh or 7.45%);
- Pennsylvania 39,731 kMWh (711 kMWh or 1.79%);
- Illinois 33,537 kMWh (1,238 kMWh or 3.69%);
- Florida 31,769 kMWh (643 kMWh or 2.02%);
- California 30,179 kMWh (4,277 kMWh or 14.17%).
This data should not be confused with Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Twenty-four states have RPSs in place that require electricity providers to obtain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable energy resources by a certain date. An additional five states have non-binding goals for adoption of renewable energy instead of an RPS, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
However, there is a correlation between a state’s generation data and its progress toward its RPS. Example, 14.17% of California power generation comes from renewables, compared with California ’s RPS of 20% by the end of 2013, 25% by the end of 2016 and 33% by the end of 2020. According to the California Public Utilities Commission, the state’s three large investor-owned utilities collectively served 18% of their 2010 retail electricity sales with renewable power.
States with the most renewables generation (and their January/February 2011 increase over the same period in 2010):
- Texas 4,785 kMWh (+27.2%)
- California 4,277 kMWh (+12.8%)
- Iowa 1,734 kMWh (+27.6%)
- Minnesota 1,466 kMWh (+38.2%)
- Washington 1,274 kMWh (+86.3%)
- Illinois 1,238 kMWh (+70%)
Renewables & Price
The nine states with renewables generation comprising more than 10% of net generation (and their average residential electricity prices in cents per kilowatt hour):
- Maine 32.43% (15.81 ¢KWh)
- Iowa 18.94% (9.53 ¢KWh)
- Minnesota 15.16% ( 10.3 ¢KWh)
- North Dakota 14.45% (7.1 ¢KWh)
- South Dakota 14.87% (8.26 ¢KWh)
- California 14.19% (15.08 ¢KWh)
- Wyoming 12.80% (8.41 ¢KWh)
- Idaho 11.60% (7.81 ¢KWh)
The 12 states with renewables generation comprising less than 2% of net generation (and their average residential electricity prices in cents per kilowatt hour):
- Maryland 1.99% (13.49 ¢KWh)
- Louisiana 1.83% (8.14 ¢KWh)
- Alabama 1.73% (10.63 ¢KWh)
- Connecticut 1.72% (17.84 ¢KWh)
- West Virginia 1.56% (8.79 ¢KWh)
- North Carolina 1.48% (9.75 ¢KWh)
- South Carolina 1.46% (10.79 ¢KWh)
- New Jersey 1.32% (16.39 ¢KWh)
- Missouri 1.21% (8.23 ¢KWh)
- Tennessee 1.11% (9.46 ¢KWh)
- Kentucky 0.45% (8.69 ¢KWh)
- Ohio 0.41% (10.27 ¢KWh)
- Arizona 0.27% (9.88 ¢KWh)
Photo credit: Cielo Wind Power
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