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The 10 States With the Most Renewable Energy Utilization

With the increased production of renewable energy resources, the United States is progressively beginning to rely less on fossil fuels. For the better part of its existence, the United States has relied on utilizing natural gas, oil, and coal for energy production.

This increase in renewable energy utilization can largely be attributed to initiatives taken at the state level. Initiatives across the federal, state, and business level have led to a doubling in renewable electricity generation since 2008.

Given this explosion in renewable energy, is interesting to consider which states are leading the charge in this department. In this article, we look at the ten states that utilize the most renewable energy as of 2017.

#10 Nebraska

Renewable Energy Utilization: 19 percent

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the majority of Nebraska's renewable energy generation has come through sources such as hydro-power and wind.

In addition, Nebraska is second only to Iowa in its production of corn-based ethanol.

We can also expect to see Nebraska become a major player in solar energy in the future as an ever growing number of cities in the state are beginning to invest into the technology.

#9 New Hampshire

Renewable Energy Utilization: 19 percent

Like Nebraska, nearly a fifth of New Hampshire's energy utilization comes from renewable energy. By 2025, the state will require 25 percent of electricity sold to come from renewable sources.

Amazingly, the EIA reports that in the years 2016 and 2017, New Hampshire obtained a larger share of electricity from wind power in comparison to coal power plants.

#8 Vermont

Renewable Energy Utilization: 25 percent

New Hampshire's neighboring state can already boast the 25 percent renewable energy figure. Vermont has a much more ambitious goal, pledging to have 90 percent of its consumed energy coming from renewable sources by 2050.

Over a five year period from 2011 to 2016, Vermont put a focus on increasing its solar capacity, according to the EIA.

#7 Idaho

Renewable Energy Utilization: 27 percent

While Idaho is primarily known for its potato farms, the state has the second-largest share of hydroelectric power in the United States.

The southern portion of the state has drawn a lot of attraction by investors due to its available space to develop renewable energy. The state also contains the necessary resources to develop this technology as well.

#6 Iowa

Renewable Energy Utilization: 28 percent

While coal is still the leading energy source for electricity generation in Iowa, wind accounted for 37 percent of the state's total electricity in 2017.

As we previously mentioned, Iowa is also the largest producer of corn-based ethanol in America.

#5 Montana

Renewable Energy Utilization: 31 percent

Accounting for 5 percent of the national coal production, Montana contains the largest recoverable coal reserves in the United States.

While this is the case, the state is pioneering hydroelectric power development. Additionally, about 8 percent of its electricity came from wind turbines in 2017.

#4 South Dakota

Renewable Energy Utilization: 35 percent

South Dakota is one of the nation's most impressive states when it comes from renewable energy. More than 40 percent of the state's net electricity came from hydroelectric power in 2017 according to the EIA.

#3 Maine

Renewable Energy Utilization: 36 percent

Maine is endowed with a large portion of wooded territory. It utilizes this territory for producing biomass fuels.

Amazingly the EIA states that Maine produced 75 percent of its net electricity generation from renewable sources in 2017.

  • Hydroelectricity: 30 percent

  • Biomass: 26 percent

  • Wind: 20 percent

#2 Washington

Renewable Energy Utilization: 44 percent

The nation's leader in hydroelectric power, Washington actually produces a surplus in electricity which is exports to Canada as well as other states in the West.

Washington accounts for 25 percent of hydroelectric power in the United States.

The Grand Coulee Dam, which sits on the Columbia River, amazingly produces enough electricity for 2.3 million households annually.

#1 Oregon

Renewable Energy Utilization: 45 percent

Oregon is the nation's leader when it comes to renewable energy. The state has over 1,900 turbines spread across its wind farms.

Most of its 71 percent of net electricity came from mainly hydroelectric power plants.