The 3 best states for renewable energy
Which states are the most amenable to using renewable energy to provide electricity for homes and buildings?
If there's one thing we love in the United States, it's electricity. The U.S. is second overall in power consumed per year — following China — using nearly four trillion kilowatts in 2010, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Not all states have the same power demands, however, and some produce and use far more electricity than others. Some states are more committed to integrating renewable energy as a significant source of electricity. Which states are the most amenable to using renewable energy to provide electricity for homes and buildings?
The Golden State comes first on this list because its population and energy consumption are nearly as high as the other two states combined. Due to the tremendous volume of industry and agriculture in California, electricity is always in high demand, with an output of 26.8 million MWh in 2012, reports EnergyTrends Insider.
That's a figure that's sure to rise over the next few years, with the state energy forecast calling for a 1.2 percent annual increase in energy consumption between 2010 and 2020, as seen on page 40 of the California Energy Commission’s Demand Commission Report. The thriving state of the utility business is evident in the number of workers employed: The Refrigerationschool.com notes that the Golden State offers the most jobs in the electro-mechanical sector of all U.S. states.
With 1.34 electricity-technician jobs per 1,000 total jobs available (according to BLS stats), a technician will have nearly twice as many job opportunities in the Lone Star State as they would in neighboring states like Louisiana. That's because Texas consumes more than 10 percent of all the energy in the entire United States, while also serving as the leading producer of crude oil and natural gas in the United States, says Window on State Government.
This means that petrochemical and electrical corporations make their bases of operations in cities like Houston and Dallas, and this means it is not impossible for workers to climb the ladder to better careers once they are established within the utility company. Furthermore, the state is seeing large gains in electrical consumption—about 2.2 percent each year.
A strong wage compared to other states, combined with a comparatively low cost of living and fairly low taxes, makes dollars earned go further in Texas than in many other states, even those with higher wages, writes MERIC.
Although New York has the second-lowest energy consumption per capita (after Rhode Island), the sheer size of the state makes it the 8th largest consumer of electricity in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
While the population makes it an attractive job market for anyone looking to pursue the trade of an electrical technician, the potential for future employment is the real draw in the Empire State. Few parts of the country are pursuing renewable energy with the zeal of New York. State mandate has made it so that the state will get 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015; while other states may adopt similar policies, few have set such a high benchmark.
The U.S. Department of Energy tells us that utility employers in New York are on the cutting edge of the industry. The efficiency of New York's electrical systems is unrivaled: the state's energy consumption per dollar spent has dropped from over $15 million per one million BTUs in the 1980s to less than $5 million today, making it a perfect place to get in on renewable energy trends before they spread to the rest of the United States.
Author: Audrey Clark is a skilled freelance blogger covering a range of topics from careers and finance to travel and leisure, along with everything in-between. When not writing, she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Connect with Audrey on Twitter and Google+.