Comparison By US State: Renewable Energy % Of Electricity Production vs Average Electricity Price vs CO2 Emissions vs Air Pollution

In this guide we compare, by each US State:

– the renewable energy % of electricity production (what share renewables make up of electricity production)

– average electricity price (retail price, in cents per kWh)

– carbon intensity of electricity production (in grams of CO2 per kWh produced)

– and, air pollution/air health (by the amount of small particulate matter in the air)

 

Summary – Why Compare These Stats For US States On Renewable Energy, Electricity Prices, CO2 Emissions, & Air Pollution?

We put this guide together because …

People often want to know whether renewable energy % share of electricity production has an impact on electricity prices (whether it can help make them higher or lower)

Further to that, electricity production is usually one of the key sectors that is linked to CO2 emissions along with the transport sector (both use fossil fuels), and other sectors

If renewable energy can be linked to higher electricity prices in a particular State (or a country), they may want a guarantee that at least these higher prices are contributing to lower CO2 emissions from electricity and also lower air pollution levels (so there is at least an environmental benefit being received for the higher prices being paid)

California is perhaps an example of a State that might want to ask questions about their electricity sector and how much value they are getting out of their renewable energy – they have one of the highest renewable energy % shares for electricity production, but higher than average electricity prices, and poor air quality in several parts of the State (although other sectors and activities are to blame for the air quality).

Having said that, their CO2 emissions from electricity production are lower than average, which is a plus for addressing greenhouse gas emissions

 

NOTE: as mentioned above, it is not only the electricity sector that contributes to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The burning of fossil fuels and activity in other sectors such as transport, heating and cooling, agriculture, industrial, residential, and more can contribute to them.

 

Some notes from the figures below:

Vermont has the highest renewable energy share

West Virginia and Kentucky have the highest CO2 levels

Hawaii has the most expensive electricity

California has some of the worst air pollution levels, and New Hampshire can some of the lowest air pollution levels (in terms of Particulate Matter exposure)

 

Renewable Energy % Of Electricity Production vs Electricity Prices vs CO2 Emissions In Each US State

Below is a list of all US States. What the list shows is:

First Line – Renewable Energy % Of Electricity Production (including hydro) in 2017

Second Line – Average Electricity Price (US cents per kWh) in 2017

Third Line – Carbon Intensity Of Electricity (CO2 Emissions in grams per kWh) in 2016

 

The list is:

Vermont – 99.6%, 14.6 US cents, 2 grams of CO2

Idaho – 81.6%, 8.26 cents, 83 CO2

Washington – 80%, 7.94 cents, 83 CO2

Oregon – 76.3%, 8.81 cents, 130 CO2

Maine – 75.9%, 13.02 cents, 130 CO2

South Dakota – 73.1%, 10.05 cents, 226 CO2

California – 47.2%, 16.06 cents, 186 CO2

Montana – 45.1%, 8.92 cents, 578 CO2

Iowa – 38.8%, 8.73 cents, 454 CO2

Kansas – 36.2%, 10.60 cents, 521 CO2

Oklahoma – 36.1%, 8.20 cents, 449 CO2

Alaska – 33.3%, 19.10 cents, 444 CO2

North Dakota – 31.8%, 8.78 cents, 763 CO2

New York – 27.8%, 14.74 cents, 206 CO2

Minnesota – 24.9%, 10.27 cents, 445 CO2

Nevada – 24.8%, 8.76 cents, 349 CO2

Colorado – 23.4%, 9.99 cents, 649 CO2

New Hampshire – 19.9%, 16.17 cents, 124 CO2

Nebraska – 19.3%, 9.08 cents, 581 CO2

New Mexico – 17.7%, 9.59 cents, 699 CO2

Texas – 16.0%, 8.38 cents, 457 CO2

Hawaii – 14.2%, 26.05 cents, 667 CO2

Arizona – 11.8%, 10.64 cents, 408 CO2

Utah – 11.6%, 8.60 cents, 722 CO2

Wyoming – 11.6%, 8.28 cents, 867 CO2

Tennessee – 11.2%, 9.45 cents, 453 CO2

Massachusetts – 10.5%, 17.12 cents, 334 CO2

North Carolina – 10.3%, 9.04 cents, 388 CO2

Maryland – 9.8%, 11.98 cents, 462 CO2

Wisconsin – 9.3%, 10.76 cents, 592 CO2

Alabama – 9.2%, 9.83 cents, 388 CO2

Arkansas – 8.8%, 8.26 cents, 500 CO2

Michigan – 8.3%, 11.28 cents, 492 CO2

Georgia – 7.9%, 9.83 cents, 431 CO2

Rhode Island – 7.2%, 16.42 cents, 394 CO2

Kentucky – 6.9%, 8.57 cents, 904 CO2

Illinois – 6.6%, 9.49 cents, 355 CO2

Virginia – 6.4%, 9.18 cents, 363 CO2

Indiana – 6.0%, 9.77 cents, 822 CO2

South Carolina – 5.9%, 9.97 cents, 284 CO2

West Virginia – 4.60%, 9.00 cents, 906 CO2

Pennsylvania – 4.35%, 10.13 cents, 382 CO2

Missouri – 4.24%, 10.03 cents, 785 CO2

Louisiana – 4.15%, 7.79 cents, 336 CO2

Connecticut – 3.46%, 17.55 cents, 192 CO2

New Jersey – 2.89%, 13.32 cents, 254 CO2

Mississippi – 2.6%, 9.09 cents, 412 CO2

Florida – 2.53%, 10.92 cents, 444 CO2

Ohio – 2.48%, 9.84 cents, 678 CO2

Delaware – 1.68%, 10.91 cents, 414 CO2

– wikipedia.org, and eia.gov

 

Air Pollution By US State

Air pollution can be measured by different air pollutants, like particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and so on.

So, it’s best to check what the air quality or air pollution rating is tracking.

The following list is for particulate matter only … 

In 2018, from healthiest State to least healthy state for Air Pollution, in terms of Average exposure of the general public to particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) or less in size (3-year average):

North Dakota (Healthiest, and least air pollution)

New Hampshire

Wyoming

Vermont

South Dakota

Hawaii

New Mexico

Massachusetts

Maine

Colorado

Idaho 

Montana

Wisconsin

Kansas

New York

Arkansas

Florida

Minnesota

Nebraska 

Iowa

Virginia

Alaska

North Carolina

South Carolina 

Mississippi

Rhode Island 

Connecticut 

Oregon

Tennessee

West Virginia

Missouri 

Oklahoma

Louisiana

Washington 

Kentucky 

Maryland

Michigan

New Jersey

Utah 

Alabama

Delaware

Georgia

Texas

Indiana

Nevada

Ohio

Illinois

Arizona

Pennsylvania 

California (Worst air pollution)

– See the full list at https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/air/state/ALL

 

Other resources on the most and least polluted States and cities in the US are:

  • https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html
  • https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/city-rankings/cleanest-cities.html
  • https://qz.com/1604654/the-us-cities-with-the-worst-air-pollution-are-in-california/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution_in_the_United_States

 

Sources

1. https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/air/state/ALL

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution_in_the_United_States

3. https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html

4. https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/city-rankings/cleanest-cities.html

5. https://qz.com/1604654/the-us-cities-with-the-worst-air-pollution-are-in-california/

6. https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/

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