Special Report

This Is How Much Renewable Energy Your State Produces

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20. Texas
> Electricity from renewables: 18.8% of total (90.9 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wind (83.6 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (255.6 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +13.2 ppt. (13th highest)

Energy production, namely oil and gas extraction, is an economic pillar in Texas. Yet the state is also one of the largest producers of electricity from renewable resources in the country. Nearly 19% of electricity production in the state comes from renewable sources, such as wind.

The largest contributor to the state’s electric grid, however, is natural gas. Texas is home to about a quarter of all U.S. natural gas reserves, and natural gas accounts for nearly 53% of electricity production in the state. Texas also has an estimated 9 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves and is the nation’s largest producer of lignite coal — a type used almost exclusively for electricity production. Coal generates about as much electricity in the Lone Star State as all renewable resources combined.

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19. Nebraska
> Electricity from renewables: 23.2% of total (8.7 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wind (7.2 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Coal (20.4 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +20.6 ppt. (8th highest)

In Nebraska, renewable sources generate 23.2% of the state’s electricity. As is typically the case in Midwestern states, wind turbines are the largest renewable contributor to Nebraska’s energy grid. The second largest renewable source is hydro power, which accounts for 3.6% of electricity production.

Though not a major coal producer itself, Nebraska generates over half of its electricity from coal — nearly all of which is shipped in from Wyoming. The state also has one nuclear power plant in operation. The Cooper Nuclear Station along the Missouri River generates about 19% of Nebraska’s electricity.

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18. New Mexico
> Electricity from renewables: 24.2% of total (8.5 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wind (6.9 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Coal (14.7 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +19.5 ppt. (9th highest)

Renewable energy production has ramped up in New Mexico in recent years. A decade ago, renewables accounted for less than 5% of the state’s power grid, compared to 24.2% today. The increase was driven primarily by growing use of wind turbines, which now total 1,100 in the state and are the largest renewable electricity source.

While parts of New Mexico are ideal for utility-scale wind farms, the state is also rich in non-renewable resources that can be used in electricity production. New Mexico is home to about 3% of recoverable coal in the U.S. and over 5% of the nation’s natural gas reserves. Both of these resources are a significant part of New Mexico’s energy mix, but coal is substantially less important today than it has been in decades past. Today, coal accounts for 41.8% of electricity in the state, down from 90% in 1990.

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17. Minnesota
> Electricity from renewables: 24.3% of total (14.5 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wind (11.0 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Coal (17.8 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +10.0 ppt. (14th highest)

In Minnesota, renewable energy sources account for 24.3% of electricity production. Most renewable energy in Minnesota comes from wind turbines located in the prairies in the southwestern part of the state.

Other primary energy sources in Minnesota include coal and nuclear. The largest power plant in Minnesota is coal-fired, and the second largest is a nuclear power plant — one of the two in the state. Though coal use has been declining in the state, it still accounts for about 30% of electricity production. Nuclear accounts for about 24%.

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16. Colorado
> Electricity from renewables: 24.9% of total (14.0 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wind (10.9 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Coal (25.3 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +14.8 ppt. (11th highest)

Nearly one-quarter of electricity generated in Colorado comes from renewable sources,the vast majority from wind. Hydropower and solar power also account for a small share of the state’s energy mix.

More than any renewable source, coal-burning power plants contribute the most to Colorado’s power grid. The state is a major coal producer and has both underground and surface mines. Demand for electricity often exceeds production in Colorado, and as a result, the state typically also buys power from nearby states like New Mexico and Wyoming.