A new batch of data about the country’s electricity generation shows the increasing dominance of one state as the clean energy leader. No, it’s not California. It’s Texas. For more, read One State Generates Much, Much More Renewable Energy Than Any Other – and It’s Not California.
- Texas has produced more gigawatt-hours of electricity from renewable sources than any other state for several years running, thanks largely to wind energy.
- In 2022, Texas generated 136,118 gigawatt-hours from wind and utility-scale solar, most of it from wind. The runner-up was California with 52,927 gigawatt-hours, most of it from utility-scale solar, according to the Energy Information Administration.
- If we include all renewable energy – like hydropower, biomass, and others – then Texas is still the leader with 138,538 gigawatt-hours, followed by Washington, whose 91,148 gigawatt-hours mostly came from hydropower, and then California, which also has a lot of hydropower, with 89,473 gigawatt-hours.
- If we include all carbon-free electricity sources, including renewables and nuclear, the leader is again Texas, with 180,145 gigawatt-hours, followed by Illinois with 124,055 gigawatt-hours, most of it from nuclear.
- Another important part of the conversation is rooftop solar. Add small-scale solar to the state totals, Texas would still be ahead, but the lead wouldn’t be quite so big. California dominates in small-scale solar with 23,094 gigawatt-hours, which is about seven times the number from Texas.
Path to 100% Perspective
The latest data on electricity generation in the U.S., while encouraging, shows that there is much work to be done if the country is to achieve 100% renewable energy. Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022 could be the spark that is needed and act as a key driver in the energy transition. The most important element of the IRA is its tax credits, which have a history of being effective. Tax credits lower the upfront capital investment cost of clean power and incentivize renewable electricity production. This will encourage companies to invest increasingly in clean energy technologies and technologies accelerating the progress to the net-zero goal.