Special Report

This Is How Much Renewable Energy Your State Produces

15. Nevada
> Electricity from renewables: 28.4% of total (11.3 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Solar thermal and photovoltaic (4.8 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (25.8 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +17.1 ppt. (10th highest)

Nevada is one of only 15 states that derives over 25% of its electricity from renewable sources. Reliance on renewables in power generation is due in part to the state’s investment in solar power infrastructure. Between 2015 and 2019, solar electricity production tripled in Nevada. Hydro electricity also accounts for a significant share of Nevada’s energy mix, as the Hoover Dam, which sits on the Arizona border, powers hydro plants in both states.

Despite rapidly increasing renewable electricity production, natural gas accounts for the bulk of electricity production in the state. Nearly two-thirds of electricity produced in Nevada comes from natural gas — and eight of the state’s 10 largest power plants are natural gas burning.

Source: Willowpix / E+ via Getty Images

14. New York
> Electricity from renewables: 28.5% of total (37.5 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Hydroelectric conventional (30.6 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (47.6 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +4.4 ppt. (25th lowest)

Renewable power sources account for 28.5% of electricity production in New York state. The state is one of the top four producers of hydroelectricity in the country, as over one-fifth of its net power generation comes from hydro plants — the largest of which is the Robert Moses Niagara plant near Niagara Falls. New York also has about two-dozen wind farms, which, together, account for the bulk of the remaining renewable energy production in the state.

Though it is not a renewable energy source, nuclear power does not have the kind of carbon emissions that sources like coal or natural gas do. Just over a third of New York’s electricity was generated by nuclear power plants in 2019. That share will likely soon drop, however, as Indian Point, one of four nuclear plants in the state, closed a reactor in 2020 and is slated to stop its second reactor in 2021.

Source: JodiJacobson / iStock via Getty Images

13. Alaska
> Electricity from renewables: 29.7% of total (1.8 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Hydroelectric conventional (1.6 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (2.7 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +9.8 ppt. (15th highest)

Though it is one of the top oil-producing states, nearly 30% of electricity generated in Alaska is from renewable sources — a larger share than in all but a dozen other states. Nearly all of Alaska’s electricity generated from renewable sources comes from hydroelectric plants. These plants are located largely in the southern part of the state in mountainous areas that tend to have high precipitation throughout the year.

The largest source of electricity in Alaska is natural gas-burning power plants. Alaska also derives about 15% of its electricity from petroleum, a larger share than nearly every other state.

Source: Chimperil59 / Getty Images

12. North Dakota
> Electricity from renewables: 35.0% of total (14.4 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wind (11.2 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Coal (25.2 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +21.9 ppt. (7th highest)

North Dakota is one of only 12 states where over a third of electricity is produced using renewable sources. The state’s largest renewable source and second largest overall electricity source is wind. Only three states generate more electricity through wind turbines than North Dakota.

Still, coal is the primary source of electricity in the state. Half of the 10 largest power plants in the state are coal fired. With a small population, North Dakota produces more electricity than it consumes, and as a result, it exports about half of the electricity it generates to other states in the region, including Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota.

Source: John Kirk / iStock via Getty Images

11. Oklahoma
> Electricity from renewables: 39.1% of total (33.3 million MWh)
> Largest renewable energy source: Wind (29.0 million MWh)
> Largest non-renewable energy source: Natural gas (44.2 million MWh)
> 10-yr. change in share of renewable energy: +30.4 ppt. (3rd highest)

Nearly 40% or electricity produced in Oklahoma comes from renewable sources, a larger share than in all but 10 other states. Like many other states in the Great Plains region, Oklahoma’s power grid relies substantially on wind. Over one-third of all electricity in Oklahoma comes from wind alone, the third largest share among states. Hydro power also accounts for nearly 5% of electricity generation in the state.

Oklahoma is also home to many of the largest natural gas fields in the United States. And although the largest power plant in the state is coal fired, natural gas is Oklahoma’s largest source of electricity, accounting for over half of all annual production.