While Colorado has built a reputation as a national leader for solar, wind and other clean energy practices, we only gets a “B” on a new report card that assigns letter grades to states based on their renewable energy patterns.
Per capita, Colorado ranks exactly in the middle among 50 states in terms of renewable energy generation. The data includes 2010, the most recent released by the U.S. Department of Energy Department.
The state moves up to 13th when you look at a three-year average. From 2007 to 2010, renewable energy generation increased 68 percent in Colorado. Indiana experienced the largest proportional gain at 443 percent, while renewable energy production decreased 9 percent in Rhode Island and Washington.
The grading system is the brainchild of Lexington Institute, the publisher of EnergyTrends.org, which offers the letter grades to states as well as a lots of other information about energy production and use.
“American’s awareness and understanding of energy seem to be increasing, but major changes in energy consumption don’t happen overnight,” said Don Soifer, executive vice president of the Lexington Institute, a think tank based in Arlington, Va.
“It is our hope that the information on EnergyTrends.org will be useful for everyone from schools to elected officials to keep track of their state’s critical energy consumption and generation patterns,” Soifer added.
Another Western state took top honors in the grading. With slightly more than one-hundredth of a kilowatt-hour per capita, Washington beat out every other state. In 20120, Colorado generated a little more than one-thousandth of a kilowatt-hour of electricity from renewable energy sources per capita. Ohio and New Jersey came in last at one-ten thousandth of a kilowatt-hour per capita.
Colorado ranked 20th in terms of incremental electric savings as a percentage of electricity sales.
The study also examined per capita consumption of energy and various fuels in the 50 states in 2010. Colorado residents consumed the 31st highest amount of energy per person nationwide. The state ranked highest at 11th in per capita consumption of natural gas and 24th in per capita consumption of coal. Colorado ranked 36th for per capita consumption of petroleum and 37th for gasoline.