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What’s the best state for renewable energy?

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By Arthur Murray February 25th, 2019
2 min read
For business

What was considered:

  • Solar – 1.2 percent of the nation’s electricity generation in November, the latest month for which information is available.
  • Wind – 7 percent.
  • Hydroelectric – 6.9 percent.
  • Geothermal – 0.4 percent.
  • Wood and wood derived fuels – 1 percent.
  • Other biomass – 0.5 percent.

What wasn’t considered:

  • Nuclear – 19.9 percent. Some consider this type of energy renewable, but the uranium used in nuclear power plants is not. The EIA, National Geographic, Stanford University and others consider nuclear nonrenewable.

So what’s really the best state for renewable energy?

Choose Energy analysts weighed all three factors mentioned above equally, assigning scores for each state’s performance in each category. When considering all three, Washington clearly was the best state for renewable energy. On the other side, Connecticut finished as the worst state for renewable energy. Following are the top 10 and bottom 10 states for renewable energy:

Why did Washington rate so highly? The state generated the second-largest amount of renewable energy, got the fifth-best percentage of its power from renewable sources, and was 11th in renewable energy per capita. Those high marks across the board powered its strong overall performance.

Meanwhile, Vermont – first in percentage of power from renewable sources – was 43rd in total renewable energy produced, leaving it 11th overall. Texas – first in amount of renewable energy produced – was 39th in renewable energy per capita and 17th overall. Wyoming – first in renewable energy per capita – was 20th overall after finishing in the middle of the pack in the other two categories.

Sources of renewable energy and the states lead in them

As stated above, Choose Energy analysts considered solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, wood and wood-derived fuels, and other biomass to be renewable. Following are the 10 best states for generation by that source and the percentage of the state’s electricity for it.

Are you a journalist or researcher writing about renewable energy who needs to know more about historical data? Send us details about what you need and we’ll get back to you with an answer and a relevant quote from one of our data experts.