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States That Produce the Most Renewable Energy

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer

October 31, 2022

The world has changed considerably over the year, especially when it comes to the type of energy we use. Gone are the days when non-renewable energy was used for powering major industries. Today, renewable energy has become the talk of the town and just about every state in the United States is looking to increase the production of energy through renewable resources. In fact, numerous renewable energy projects have been launched over the last 50 years and have paved the way for renewable energy production. 

large solar panel setup covering entire roof

Resident just got solar installed at their home

Although the country still has a long way to go until there is no longer a reliance on traditional energy sources like coal or gas, it is clear that we are moving in the right direction. The federal and state governments have come together to increase investment in sustainable renewable energy in order to combat global warming. 

With temperatures rising every year, many states are trying to eliminate the use of conventional sources for energy projection. Instead, they are turning to renewable energy sources and establishing huge solar panel and wind turbine projects to meet all their energy needs. From renewable energy in California to Texas renewable energy and Midwest renewable energy, here are some of the states that are producing the most sustainable renewable energy in the United States.  

California is the Leader in Solar

Boasting endless sunshine, California has become a leader in solar energy production. The Californian government has stepped up its game in order to create a better future for its residents. It was one of the first markets for solar panels. In fact, it is powering the state by generating an increasing amount of energy through renewable sources like solar energy. Ca renewable energy projects have truly taken off and have proven to be a game-changer. 

Over 1.5 million solar panel systems have been installed in The Golden State due to the abundance of sunlight. Many households have invested in solar panels and have benefited from lower energy bills. In fact, household carbon emissions continue to drop which shows just how conscious residents of California are about the impact they have on the environment. 

Since residential electricity rates are much higher in California when compared to the national average, residential solar panel systems are seeing a steady increase every year. As there are various tax credits and rebates offered by federal, state, and local governments, residents get to benefit from savings when they install residential solar panels. Therefore, solar energy production will only continue to rise. 

The Residential Clean Energy Credit is a federal solar tax incentive that offers Californians tax credit for 30% of the purchase of solar panels. The Inflation Reduction Act only further increases this solar tax credit. In fact, there is no cap on the tax credit which means that you can get reimbursed for up to 30% of the cost. Some of the solar incentives offered in California are mentioned below.

  • Net Metering Programs
  • Disadvantaged Communities 
  • Sales and Use Tax Exemption
  • Self-Generation Incentives Program
  • Property Tax Exclusion for the Installation of Solar Energy Systems 

California offers a host of programs to residents to encourage the generation of solar energy. It has managed to increase solar energy production and has eased the burden of the grid. Although net metering is highly debated, things will only get better with time. The government is finding new ways to expand its solar energy production. 

Washington Leads the Way with Hydropower

Another state that is leading the country towards a brighter future in Washington. It has invested heavily in hydropower. The dams in Washington generate more than 950 trillion BTUs of renewable energy which is far more than other states. In fact, Oregon produces 50% of what Washington produces despite the fact that it takes the second spot for hydropower production. There are hydropower stations in over 34 states. However, it is clear that Washington is committed to green technology. Its hydropower infrastructure is simply the best and most advanced in the nation.  

Most of the renewable energy generated by Washington is hydroelectric power. It actually accounts for 91% of the renewable energy produced and has the potential of dominating total electric capacity in the state. Besides, it is worth keeping in mind that Washington is home to the largest hydro station in the country, the Grand Coulee Dam located on the Columbia River. The fact is that hydropower is possibly the cheapest source of electricity. It is completely renewable and clean. Hence, Washington enjoys the lowest electricity rates in the United States. Ever since Initiative 937 was passed, things have changed for the better. It also aims to increase the production of electricity through non-hydro renewable sources. Therefore, Washington is a state that will push through and prove that anything is possible. 

Washington has plenty of waterways and enjoys yearlong rain which ensures reliability on hydropower. It is due to this reason that the government is building more dams every year and looking to expand the capacity of each dam. Moreover, the state is investing heavily in innovation and has significantly reduced its burden on conventional energy sources. Hydropower is an excellent alternative energy source and is expected to power the needs of the state. 

California Leads Geothermal Energy Too

When it comes to renewable energy California, it is one of the few states that takes sustainable renewable energy generation as seriously. There are countless renewable energy projects throughout the state that have proven to take advantage of its unique location on the Ring of Fire. Due to the tectonic plate conjunctions, it has managed to exploit everything nature has to offer. In fact, it boasts the largest geothermal electric generation capacity. The fact is that it generates up to 72% of the total geothermal energy production in the United States. 

In addition to solar and wind power generation, California is at a great advantage and can rely on geothermal energy to satisfy its energy needs. New geothermal power plants continue to be constructed by a number of local energy providers to amp up sustainable renewable energy production. It is clear that the state will effectively transition to cleaner energy sources. Geothermal energy produced in California amounted to 11,116 GWh of electricity in 2021.

With California’s renewable energy generation portfolio increasing every year, there are about 40 operating geothermal power plants at present. These geothermal power plants provide over 5% of the energy requirements of the state. There is hope that geothermal energy production will increase as new plants open up and contribute to the power grid. Hence, California will influence other states to launch geothermal power plants and reduce their dependence on conventional energy sources. 

The majority of geothermal plants are located to the north of San Francisco at Sonoma Counties and the Geysers Geothermal Resource Area which has been providing the state with electricity since the early 1960s. Dry steam is used by the plants to produce energy. Some of the plants that have been constructed in California include Bottle Rock Power, CE Turbo, J.J. Elmore, and West Ford 4. Each of these plants has helped power the state and reduced the need to import electricity from other states. 

Clean is Better

Solar, hydro, and geothermal energy production is helping lower the need for non-renewable energy resources in the United States. Each of these sustainable renewable energy sources is playing a positive role in combatting climate change. Although a lot more needs to be done, it is clear that the country is heading in the right direction. The government still has to take on the challenge to ensure that the reliance on traditional energy sources comes to an end. Besides this, residents of the country also need to play their part. Otherwise, it would be impossible to create a cleaner future for everyone. 

One of the ways that you can make a difference is by installing solar panels on your property. It would allow you to provide electricity to the grid and reduce the dependence on other energy sources. In order to prevent the ozone from getting more damaged, the production of electricity needs to be changed for good. It simply isn’t possible to continue burning coal and using gas. Instead, alternative energy sources must be used for powering the nation. As we don’t have much time, there is no need to wait to make changes and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Clean energy is the need of the hour. It is crucial that we all take action now before it is too late. It is still possible to reach the targets mentioned in the Paris Agreement. Since the United States is the largest economy in the world, we have to lead by example. The federal and state governments are coming up with new initiatives to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources. However, only time will tell what can be accomplished. 

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