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State Trends in Renewable Energy Generation

NREL's State of the States 2009 analysis summarizes the national- and state-level trends in 2007 for renewable energy generation.

State Rankings

The analysis ranks states according to:

Key Findings

  • Hydroelectric resources continued to provide the largest portion of renewable energy generation in the United States in 2007, although it is down 14% from 2006. In addition to many of the larger-scale hydroelectric resources having already been developed, this decline could be the result of increased development of other renewable energy resources and drought conditions across the country.

  • Wind energy accounted for the largest percentage of nationwide growth in renewable generation between 2001–2007, as well as between 2006–2007.

  • Biomass development continues to grow across most regions of the United States, indicating the widespread nature of biomass resources. The leading states in biomass generation growth from 2006 – 2007 are spread across the United States, including Delaware, Utah, Minnesota, and Alaska.

  • Although generation from renewable resources as a percent of total national generation declined from 2006 to 2007, generation from non-hydroelectric renewable resources increased its share of total national generation.

  • Renewable energy growth is largely outstripped by economic growth as measured by gross state product and population growth.

  • According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, between 2001 and 2007:
    • Thirty-two states increased electricity generation from biomass resources
    • Twenty-eight states from wind electricity production
    • Four states from geothermal electricity production
    • Four states from large-scale solar electricity production (distributed solar not collected by EIA).