The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has released its 2012 Renewable Energy in the 50 States, an online, interactive resource. The report compiles updated financial data, resource potentials, market, and policy information for the renewable energy sector for all 50 U.S. states.
In 2011, the total installed base of renewable electricity exceeded 145 GW in the United States, with more than 67 GW from non-hydropower sources, according to the report. Every region in the country experienced growth in the 2011-2012 period, from new wind farms in the Midwest, advanced biofuel facilities in the Southeast, solar farms in the West, to hydropower facility improvements in the Northeast. Washington, California and Texas led the way in cumulative renewable power capacity, while Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois were the leaders in renewable fuels capacity.
According to the report, several market drivers of renewable energy included renewable energy targets in 29 states plus Washington, D.C., and several state production incentives. Legislation, along with incentives, have encourage manufactures, developers and end users to invest in and use renewable energy.
However, even as some states are passing new and expanded support structures, others face the scaling back of important incentives. Such actions, coupled with reduced federal support (the Production Tax Credit for wind energy is set to expire on December 31, 2012), could stifle once booming state markets. As a result, ACORE is calling on renewable energy proponents throughout the country to increase renewable energy education with a focus on economic, environmental and health benefits.