ACORE’s Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Western Region Report Illustrates
How States Are Leading the Way Toward Sustainable Power
Thirteen Western states well suited for nearly all available renewable energy
SAN FRANCISCO -- September 16, 2013
The Western Region Report, the first portion of the American Council On
Renewable Energy’s (ACORE) 6^th annual Renewable Energy in the 50 States
report, was released at today’s REFF-West conference. The first of a four-part
series, this portion focuses on the renewable energy sector in the thirteen
Western states. The report is a review of state energy policies and programs,
investment, and market openness as they relate to the current state of
renewable energy and its potential for further growth. Three additional
reports will focus on the Midwest, Northeast, and finally the Southeast.
“For well over a decade, the individual states - in conjunction with the
federal government - have been leading the way in all renewable energy
innovation, exploration, investment, and increasing equal market access. In no
part of the U.S. is this truer than in the West,” said Michael Brower, ACORE’s
Interim President and CEO. “With strong renewable portfolio standards (RPS),
the political will to protect and/or expand them, and the nearly half of
2012’s new build asset finance for renewable energy, the West is far and away
in the national renewable energy vanguard. Americaneeds all the states in our
three other regions to quickly follow their lead.”
According to the Western Region Report, nearly all existing renewable energy
technologies are well suited for deployment in the region. These technologies
include solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal, marine, and a wide assortment
of biofuels. In addition, the West benefits from some of the best solar
resources in the country, responsible for roughly 65% of the nation’s solar
photovoltaic capacity and 86% of the nation’s solar thermal electric capacity.
The Western region is responsible for about 63% of the nation’s installed
hydropower capacity, and that hydropower accounts for about 25% of the
region’s electricity generation. The country’s utility-scale geothermal power
projects are found exclusively in this region. Finally, wind power projects
have been built in every Western state. In fact, California and Oregon rank in
the top five states for wind power capacity.
“There is no shortage of power demand in the thirteen Western states. Their
populations are growing and with that growth comes increased need for power.
Renewable energy deployment is growing to meet this demand, and the West
produced approximately 31% of its total energy generation from renewable
energy sources. That is compared to 12% nationally in 2012,” explained Lesley
Hunter, ACORE’s Research and Program Manager and lead author of the report.
“There can be no doubt that state renewable portfolio standards have been a
real driver in this growth. Nine of the states profiled have binding mandates
for renewable energy production, many with minimums for certain distributed
generation technologies and/or solar energy. Protecting and expanding these
standards is imperative.”
Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Western Region provides an executive
summary on the status of renewable energy implementation at the state-level.
Compiling financial, renewable energy resource potentials, market and policy
information in an easily-accessed, online format, the report is intended to be
an executive summary for all who are interested in the highlights of the
renewable energy sector in every state. Investment information in this report
was provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
ACORE’s 2013 Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Western Region can be viewed
REFF-West is the largest renewable energy finance conference focused on West
Coast energy issues. It is hosted by the American Council On Renewable Energy
(ACORE) and Euromoney Energy Events, a London-based wholly owned subsidiary of
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. For more information, please visit
ACORE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to
building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE
seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and
market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2013 on National
Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation.
Additional information is available at www.acore.org.
Tim McHugh, 202-507-4637
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