So, we heard it a lot last night during the Democratic climate change debates on CNN: wind and solar power.
It will be an uphill grind to say the least: in 2018, wind and solar generated a combined 9% of U.S. power, versus 63% for natural gas and coal.
Wind power, however, generates about three times more than solar does.
Let’s take a look at some wind and solar generation facts simply based on geography.
These numbers are taken from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly, February 2019, which has stats for the entire year of 2018.
This is mostly just an information piece but I will add a couple of things that pop out to me.
Nationally, wind generation grew 8% last year.
Much of the south, namely Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and South Carolina, has no wind generation at all.
The Great Plains region of the country dominates for wind.
Texas generates 28% of all U.S. wind power; Oklahoma is a distant second at 10%.
And Iowa gets 34% of its electricity from wind.
California is not the sunniest state but it still generates 41% of U.S. solar power.
A lack of solar power in sunnier Florida is noteworthy, at just 2.9 terawatt hours, or just 1% of total generation.
Even sunnier Arizona gets 6% of its power from solar.
Given their ambitious and very public rhetoric, New York and the New England states have the farthest to go since solar accounts for just 1% and 4% of all power, respectively.
Nationally, solar generation grew 25% last year.