EnergyTrends 2012 Renewable Energy Grades

Joanna Schroeder

Did you know that California, Colorado and Massachusetts are the top three states in the U.S. for renewable energy? You can learn all this and more from a new data analysis by, a project of Lexington Institute. The organization has assigned grades to each U.S. state based on its use and development of renewable energy.

The grading system considers both the amount of energy generated from renewable sources as well as the growth rate over a three-year period. It also takes into account savings achieved in electricity use, renewable energy state incentive programs and other factors. States were given extra bonus points for grid-connected renewable installations, dynamic pricing for power utility consumers and integrated of electric vehicles.

“Renewable energy is really still in its infancy here in the United States,” said Lexington Executive Vice President Don Soifer. “So we felt it essential to grade based on a growth model, with plenty of room to reflect future improvements in the integration of renewable. We worked to create a new resource that will be useful for everyone from schools to elected officials to keep track of their state’s critical patterns for energy consumption and generation.”

The scoring is based on data from 2003-2010, the most recent year for which confirmed information is available. Resources included the Department of Energy as well as other state-specific energy information. Data used also included per-capita consumption of energy from various fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and gasoline, as well as renewable sources. All states are ranked in each category, along with indicators for important trends and summaries of important recent developments.

So what grade does my current state, Iowa, receive? A “C”.  It looks like Iowa has some work to do….

bioenergy, Education, Energy