Texas, California dominated wind and solar power generation in 2023: Report

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Oil-producing red states like Texas and Oklahoma led the nation in wind energy generation in 2023, while Texas was also among the leaders in solar generation, according to a report from the nonprofit Climate Central.

The report indicated that the U.S. generated nearly 240,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from solar power last year, an eightfold increase from 2014. The leading states for solar generation include California, with just less than 69,000 GWh, followed by Texas, with just more than 31,700 GWh. Growth was even higher for solar capacity, which increased 15 percent from 2022 in California and 37 percent from 2022 in Texas.

California and Texas also led in solar generation growth over the last decade: Such generation increased 371 percent since 2014 in California and more than 7,000 percent in Texas.

Wind power, meanwhile, reached an estimated 425,000 GWh in electricity production from utility-scale wind. This is slightly down from 2022, which the report attributes to lower wind speeds.

The top state for wind power generation was Texas, which generated 119,836 GWh in wind power last year, a net increase of about 4 percent from 2022 even as the country as a whole fell slightly. The Lone Star State generated nearly three times the power from wind as the second-highest state for generation, Iowa, even though wind overall comprises only 22 percent of its electricity mix. Oklahoma was in third with 37,731 GWh generated in 2023, followed by Kansas, with 27,462 GWh. Texas was the only state in the top four that saw net growth in generation from 2022.

Overall, wind and solar generated enough power last year to meet the energy requirements of 61 million American households, according to the report. The Energy Department has projected that solar and wind generation will surpass coal-fired electricity this year.

Outside of oil country, wind power comprises the majority of the current electricity mix in Iowa, where it generated close to 60 percent, and South Dakota, where it generated some 55 percent.

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