Thursday, September 8, 2016

USA: The Continuing Rise of Renewable Energy

23 States to Rely on Geothermal, Solar, or Wind Power as a Primary Source of Electric Generation in 2016 (Renewable Energy World)

By Daniel Fleischmann, Mountain Man Alternative Energy Consulting 

At the end of the 20th century, electric generation in the U.S. came primarily from five sources; coal, nuclear, natural gas, petroleum, and hydroelectric. In 1999, 45 states relied on three of those five energy sources for their top three sources of electric generation. The exception was five states, which had biomass in their top three. There wasn’t much energy diversity in electric generation back then.

According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), in 2015, over half of U.S. states had a source of electric generation outside of those five energy sources, and the number of sources of electric generation in the top three in at least one state increased from six sources to nine sources. Utilities and power producers have more options than ever before to supply electricity to their customers.

In 1999, wind, solar, and geothermal were insignificant. No states had wind, solar, or geothermal energy in their top three. However, in 2015, 22 states had at least one of those technologies in their top three. In addition, 2016 appears likely to have 23 states, and by 2020 it could be more than half of U.S. states with one of those sources in their top three.