Published on April 13th, 2012 | by Joshua S Hill2
Electricity Generation Share from Renewables Up in US
According to a new Power Plant Operations Report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the share of electricity generated from renewable power sources has increased year by year over the past decade in many states in the country.
Hydroelectric generation is often separated from overall renewable statistics because it makes up a larger percentage of electrical generation in the US and because it can be highly variable from year to year. As a result, there are two ways to look at the numbers provided by the EIA.
First of all, looking at renewable generation without hydroelectricity included shows significant growth over the past decade. In 2011, Maine had the highest percentage of non-hydroelectric renewable generation, at 27% of total in-state generation, up from 20% in 2001 (see maps). South Dakota and Iowa followed, with 21% and 17%, respectively, in 2011, up from 1% and less than one percent in 2001.
Across the decade, wind power was the largest driver of this increase.
Including hydroelectric power, however, changes things dramatically, increasing the amount of dark blue on the map above. In 2011, the states with the largest shares of generation coming from renewables, including hydro, were: Idaho (93%), Washington (82%), and Oregon (78%), and according to the EIA hydroelectric production was particularly high throughout 2011 in the Pacific Northwest.