Thursday, February 23, 2012

California Crosses 5% Wind Power Threshold: Renewables & Gas Powering Golden State

While California trails Iowa and South Dakota that generate 20% of their electricity from wind, and Texas where wind generates about 8% of its electricity, California crossed the 5% wind power threshold in 2011.  See  California now has 3,927 megawatts of wind operating, ranking it third in total wind capacity.

California and Texas, the nation's two most populated states, are striking examples of the growth of wind energy.  But the on-going debate about extending the wind production tax credit is already reducing new wind construction in 2013 and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Apart from wind, California generates 42% of its electricty from natural gas, with large hydro and nuclear power significant sources too.  California is also home to some of the nation's largest geothermal power plants. Two of California's largest electricity utilities now get 20% of their electricity from renewable energy resources.

How about solar?  As of 2010, solar produced 0.3% of the Golden state's power.  Massive solar farms that are under construction will boost significantly solar's California market share over the next 3 years.

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