Special Report

This Is How Much Renewable Energy Your State Produces

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45. Florida
> Electricity from renewables: 3.5% of total (8.6 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Solar thermal and photovoltaic (3.9 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (182.0 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +1.4 ppt. (14th lowest)

In Florida, only 3.5% of electricity is generated through renewable sources. Solar thermal and photovoltaic is the largest renewable contributor to the power grid in the Sunshine State. One solar energy production facility in the state uses nearly 200,000 mirrors to concentrate sunlight and generate electricity. It is the only facility of its kind in the eastern United States. Biomass such as sugar cane waste, citrus pulp, wood pellets, and yard waste is also widely used for electricity production in Florida.

The state is one of 25 where natural gas-fired plants generate the most electricity. Florida also has two nuclear power plants that generate about 12% of electricity in the state.

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44. Louisiana
> Electricity from renewables: 3.6% of total (3.6 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wood and wood derived fuels (2.2 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (69.5 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: -0.3 ppt. (6th lowest)

Just 3.6% of Louisiana’s energy comes from renewable sources, less than a quarter of the comparable national share. Louisiana does not use wind or geothermal sources. The bulk of its renewable energy production comes from wood and wood-derived sources, one of just a handful of states in which this is the case.

Nationwide, a larger share of electricity comes from natural gas than any other single source, at 38.4%. Louisiana, which has among the largest natural gas reserves of U.S. states, is also one of the largest natural gas-producing states. More than two-thirds of the state’s electricity comes from natural gas, at 69.4%, the sixth highest share of any state.

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43. Pennsylvania
> Electricity from renewables: 3.9% of total (8.8 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Hydroelectric conventional (3.5 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (98.0 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +1.1 ppt. (12th lowest)

Pennsylvania generated nearly 229 million MWh of electricity in 2019 — and only 3.9% of it came from renewable sources. Most renewable energy production in the Keystone State is from hydroelectric power plants and most of the rest from wind turbines. The state has two pumped storage plants, which operate by moving water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir and then releasing the water to power turbines. The state also had 26 operational wind farms as of mid-2020 and added two additional wind farms at the end of that year.

Electricity generated from natural gas power plants has expanded considerably in Pennsylvania in recent years as reliance on coal-fired plants has declined. As of 2019, 42.8% of electricity in the state came from natural gas, compared to 13.3% a decade earlier. Over the same period, reliance on coal fell from 48.1% of electricity production to 16.6%.

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42. West Virginia
> Electricity from renewables: 5.2% of total (3.3 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Hydroelectric conventional (1.7 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Coal (58.2 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +1.8 ppt. (15th lowest)

Only 5.2% of electricity in West Virginia is produced from renewable sources — namely hydroelectric and wind. The state is home to a dozen hydroelectric plants, the oldest of which began operating in 1909, while the newest has been generating electricity since 2016.

Far and away, the largest source of electricity in West Virginia is a non-renewable resource that has been integral to the state’s history and economy — coal. Coal accounted for over 90% of electricity production in the state in 2019, and that same year, West Virginia had more recoverable coal reserves in active mines than every state except for Wyoming and Illinois. Much of the electricity produced in West Virginia is sold to other states.

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41. South Carolina
> Electricity from renewables: 6.0% of total (6.0 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Hydroelectric conventional (3.0 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Nuclear (56.1 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +1.9 ppt. (17th lowest)

Just 6.0% of the 100.1 million MWh of electricity produced in South Carolina in 2019 came from renewable sources. The state has about 30 utility scale hydroelectric plants and is ramping up its solar power production capacity.

The largest power source in South Carolina is nuclear. There are four nuclear power plants in the state with seven nuclear reactors, including the Onconee plant, which is the largest power plant in the state. Only Illinois and Pennsylvania produced more nuclear power than South Carolina in 2019.