Renewable energy is a big deal in the United States. In fact, last year more than half of all new power capacity came from clean energy, with wind energy taking the top spot for new electric generating capacity in 2015. Solar energy is also having an impressive run — according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, there are now over 1 million solar systems installed in the United States.
Development isn't going to slow down anytime soon, either. A recent report states that, thanks to the significantly improved Levelized Costs of Electricity (LCOE) for wind and solar, the renewable energy industry is more competitive than ever.
But which states are driving the shift toward using more renewable energy sources? Here's a breakdown by the numbers.
Renewable Energy Generation
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the following states are leading the way in total energy generation from renewable sources*.
- South Dakota
Top States for Wind Energy Generation
In 2015, Iowa was the winner in wind energy, with over 31 percent of its electricity generation coming from wind power. The top 10 states for wind energy last year all produced at least 10 percent of their electricity from wind, according to data reported by the American Wind Energy Association.
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
Top States in Installed Solar Energy Capacity
The Golden State is currently leading the way in solar energy — according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, California has a cumulative installed solar capacity of 13,241 MW, enough energy to power approximately 3,319,000 homes**.
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New York
*The EIA report excludes rooftop solar in its calculation of energy generation. Only utility scale generation from solar sources is included.
**Number reflected in this report are from March 2016.