EIA Finds Hydro Most Prevalent Renewable Generation Source in 2017; California Signs 100% Clean Electricity Bill into Law

Hydroelectricity represented the largest share of renewable generation in 19 states in 2017, according to a report published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday.  Hydroelectricity was also the most prevalent source of renewable electricity in 2017 in the United States as a whole, providing 7% of the national total.  But EIA projects that by 2019, wind generation will surpass hydro as the most prevalent source of renewable generation nationwide—wind was already the most prevalent renewable source in 16 states in 2017.  As more wind turbines are constructed and come online, Kansas and Iowa may become the first states to have a renewable source other than hydroelectricity provide the largest share of their electricity generation.

EIA also reports that solar was the most prevalent renewable generation source in 7 states.  Solar generation’s share was highest in California, where is provided 16% of the state’s 2017 total, behind natural gas (41%) and hydroelectricity (20%).

California is poised to increase its share of renewable generation: on Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California SB 100, which requires the state to obtain 100% of its energy from renewable resources by 2045, and 60% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030 (up from the state’s previous 50% by 2030 goal).

Governor Brown also signed Executive Order B-55-18, directing the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.  “SB 100 sends a clear signal to markets to expand clean energy generation,” Governor Brown stated in a statement issued Monday.

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