Where does Texas stand in green power generation?

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By Arthur Murray
For business

Texas is a large producer of green power, primarily wind and solar.

Everyone knows Texas as oil country, and they’re not wrong. The Lone Star State generated nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil per day in June, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That was more than 41 percent of the nation’s total output. But Texas also generates a significant portion of the nation’s green power.

What are the numbers? That depends in part on which types of energy are classified as green – particularly whether nuclear power falls into the category.

Texas as a green power (with nuclear generation)

Considering nuclear generation as a green power source (along with wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal), Texas ranks second among states (behind only California) as a green power generator. Following are the top 10 states for green power including nuclear (in megawatt hours) and the percentage of the nation’s green power each state generates:

State Total green power including nuclear % of U.S. green power
California 12,236,597 9.5
Texas 10,636,299 8.3
Illinois 9,569,811 7.5
Washington 7,856,442 6.1
Pennsylvania 7,678,271 6.0
New York 6,879,926 5.4
South Carolina 5,051,031 3.9
North Carolina 4,948,397 3.9
Alabama 4,730,342 3.7
Arizona 4,124,861 3.2

About 25 percent of Texas’ electricity generation in June came from these green sources. However, because Texas is such a large energy producer, that percentage is only the 34th largest among states. Following are the 20 states in which these green sources are responsible for the largest percentages of their total electricity generation and those percentages:

State % of state's total generation State % of state's total generation
Vermont 90.8 South Carolina 57.5
Washington 86.6 Maine 57.1
Idaho 77.1 Kansas 56.5
Oregon 74.0 Montana 54.3
South Dakota 69.6 Maryland 49.4
New Hampshire 67.6 Minnesota 47.0
California 66.8 Connecticut 45.8
Illinois 65.0 Iowa 45.8
Tennessee 62.8 North Carolina 42.9
New York 61.9 Pennsylvania 40.4

Texas as a green power (without nuclear generation)

Taking nuclear production out of the equation, Texas ranks third in green energy generated from the remaining sources: wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal. California ranks first, with Washington second. Following are the top 10 green energy producers in megawatt hours (excluding nuclear as green) and the percentage of the nation’s green power they generate:

State Total green (excluding nuclear) % of U.S. green power
California 10,603,742 17.9
Washington 7,611,746 12.8
Texas 7,036,106 11.9
Oregon 3,751,558 6.3
New York 3,070,945 5.2
Oklahoma 2,248,976 3.8
Iowa 1,980,330 3.3
Kansas 1,530,202 2.6
Arizona 1,270,872 2.1
North Carolina 1,249,865 2.1

Using this definition of green power, Texas generates about 16.4 percent of its electricity from clean sources, the 20th highest percentage among states. Following are the 20 states in which these green sources are responsible for the largest percentages of their total electricity generation and those percentages:

State % of state's total generation State % of state's total generation
Vermont 90.8 North Dakota 33.5
Washington 83.9 Oklahoma 31.1
Idaho 77.1 Nevada 29.8
Oregon 74.0 New York 27.6
South Dakota 69.6 Alaska 27.4
California 57.9 Colorado 26.2
Maine 57.1 New Mexico 23.3
Montana 54.3 Minnesota 22.4
Iowa 37.6 Nebraska 19.7
Kansas 36.0 Texas 16.4

Where Texas ranks on these green sources

As previously mentioned, Texas is the country’s largest generator of electricity from wind, more than tripling the production of No. 2 Oklahoma. Following are the top 10 wind producers and the amount of electricity generated in megawatt hours.

State Electricity from wind State Electricity from wind
Texas 6,454,489 Illinois 1,101,477
Oklahoma 2,060,421 Oregon 888,152
Iowa 1,897,918 Minnesota 836,124
Kansas 1,528,874 Colorado 817,321
California 1,444,648 North Dakota 737,893

Texas places fifth among states that produce electricity through solar generation. Following are the top 10 solar producers and the amount of electricity generated in megawatt hours.

State Electricity from solar State Electricity from solar
California 3,352,070 Florida 340,092
North Carolina 833,096 Utah 253,070
Arizona 607,696 Georgia 226,214
Nevada 529,853 Minnesota 179,952
Texas 480,966 New Mexico 152,378