Texas trumps all as the best state for renewable energy

February 14, 2019   By Arthur Murray

Texas trumps all as the best state for renewable energy

Texas enjoys a huge lead in electricity generation by wind.

When it comes to energy generation from renewable sources, Texas is the undisputed king. The state generated more than 6.5 million megawatt hours of electricity from renewable sources, according to the latest monthly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Sources measured included wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, wood and wood-derived materials and other biomass – the six categories designated as renewable by the EIA. A megawatt is one million watts of power.

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, let’s look at Texas’ standing in the renewable power world. It leads second-place Washington by nearly 270,000 megawatt hours. No other state is even close.

Following is the top 10 and the megawatt hours those states produce:

State Megawatt hours State Megawatt hours
Texas 6,502,749 Oklahoma 2.459,216
Washington 6,231,765 Iowa 2,004,038
California 5,169,859 Kansas 1,509,300
New York 3,316,814 Alabama 1,507,158
Oregon 3,271,305 Minnesota 1,269,090

Where Texas built its lead

Texas is widely recognized as a leader in wind energy – it generated nearly 6 million megawatts of its renewable energy total from that source in November. That’s nearly 27 percent of the U.S. wind energy produced that month and 175 percent more than second-place Oklahoma.

Following are the top 10 electricity producers from wind and the megawatt hours generated:

State Megawatt hours State Megawatt hours
Texas 5,996,535 California 980,975
Oklahoma 2,179,071 Minnesota 977,414
Iowa 1,913,395 North Dakota 919,000
Kansas 1,501,324 Colorado 755,567
Illinois 1,121,544 Washington 601,263

Solar energy and Texas

The Lone Star State also is a leader in solar energy, ranking fifth for generation of electricity from it. First place belongs to California.

Following are the top 10 electricity producers from solar and the megawatt hours generated:

State Megawatt hours State Megawatt hours
California 1,559,708 Florida 176,212
North Carolina 407,192 Utah 126,230
Arizona 323,070 Georgia 119,777
Nevada 280,215 New Mexico 75,747
Texas 230,032 Minnesota 73,176

Biomass and Texas

Texas also ranks well in the use of biomass: It is 10th, just behind North Carolina. Biomass includes plants (other than wood) that are burned or converted to liquid biofuels and animal (including human) wastes converted to biogas.

Following are the top 10 electricity producers from biomass and the megawatt hours generated:

State Megawatt hours State Megawatt hours
California 229,071 Massachusetts 89,102
Florida 215,204 Michigan 82,371
Pennsylvania 163,483 New Jersey 70,274
New York 139,575 North Carolina 51,871
Virginia 99,973 Texas 50,468

Other renewables and Texas

Texas doesn’t rank as highly in hydroelectric or wood and wood-derived generation or at all in geothermal. But it’s still worth taking a look at those forms of electricity production.

Texas is 19th in the use of wood and wood-derived products to generate electricity. It produced 64,765 megawatt hours during November.

Following are the top 10 electricity producers from wood and wood-derived sources and the megawatt hours generated:

State Megawatt hours State Megawatt hours
Georgia 365,629 Louisiana 207,860
Alabama 282,864 Maine 207,611
South Dakota 252,686 Florida 206,474
California 242,441 South Carolina 180,187
Virginia 241,551 North Carolina 153,647

Texas is 24th in electricity generated by hydroelectric sources, producing 160,679 megawatts in November.

Following are the top 10 electricity producers by hydroelectric methods and the megawatt hours generated:

State Megawatt hours State Megawatt hours
Washington 5,488,817 Tennessee 946,226
New York 2,723,632 Montana 736,325
Oregon 2,647,309 Idaho 720,881
Alabama 1,201,144 North Carolina 558,111
California 1,150,205 Arizona 486,815

Texas produces no electricity from geothermal sources. Following are the states that produce significant amounts of electricity from geothermal and the megawatt hours generated:

State Megawatt hours State Megawatt hours
California 1,007,459 Oregon 16,325
Nevada 309,592 Idaho 6,733
Utah 40,245 New Mexico 1,383
Hawaii 27,803 US total 1,409,540

Fun facts about Texas renewable energy

  • Texas produces 18.6 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. That’s the 22nd largest percentage of any state. Vermont is first with 85.8 percent.
  • Texas produces 5.3 megawatt hours per capita, the 39th largest amount. Wyoming is first, with 1,112 megawatts per capita.
  • Texas could shoot up in the solar rankings and expand its overall lead in renewable power. The Phoebe solar farm, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year, will be the state’s largest. It is designed to produce 250 megawatts.

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(Image courtesy of Pixabay)