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Renewable Energy Resources in NORTH AMERICA

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Interactive Report: Renewable Energy in America (updated Spring 2011)

March 2011 - ACORE

Markets, Economic Development and Policy in the 50 States

"Renewable Energy in America" is intended to provide an executive summary on the status of renewable energy implementation at the state-level. The report provides a two-page, high-level overview on the key developments that have shaped the renewable energy landscape in each state, including information on installed and planned capacity, markets, economic development, resource potential and policy. The report is a “living” document that will continue to evolve with updates and periodic revision. It is ACORE’s intention to update each state profile at least twice per year.


Renewable energy can contribute substantially to the entire North American electricity supply, to biomass based transport fuels and for space and hot water heating in buildings and industry. Both distributed forms of renewable energy and central large-scale technology options are possible.
Both wind and biomass fuels could contribute in a major way to enhancing rural economic development.

Worldwide, the rates of growth of wind and solar energy are the most rapid of any technology. Wind power installations have been doubling every three years between 1994 and 2001, and now total over 23,000 MW. (Brown, 2002, Sawin, 2001). Likewise photovoltaic shipments have been doubling at a comparable rate between 1996 and 2001, and now approach 400 MWp. These growth rates are from a small base, but vastly exceed any other form of energy technology. Unfortunately, North America has a declining share of this accelerating market in renewable technology.

A number of policy barriers within each of the three North American nations need to be addressed, and national and NAFTA trading rules need to be reconciled in order for renewable energy to achieve its full potential. It is also essential to adopt a long-term perspective for expanding the role of renewable energy in North America over the next several decades. (1)

(1) http://www.cec.org/pubs_docs/documents/index.cfm?varlan=english&ID=851

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