Where Are the Renewable Energy Resources Located in the US? Use This Map to Find Out

Where in the US is the most potential for wind, solar, wave and other kinds of renewable energy?

The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has created a geospatial map online that allows users to easily and accurately map potential renewable energy resources in the US.

The tool creates dynamic maps of renewable resources – you can zoom in and out to get granular views – including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar PV and concentrating, onshore and offshore wind and wave energy. You can choose one or more kinds of renewable energies to view individually or in a composite fashion.

RE Atlas is designed to facilitate energy policy development, investment, and education by making high quality data accessible and easy to understand.

"Ease of use and breadth of data make RE Atlas an excellent tool for policymakers, planners, energy developers, and others who need to better understand the renewable resources available in the United States," says Dan Getman, whose team in NREL’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center developed the tool. "RE Atlas is an important addition to NREL’s suite of geospatial tools, because it brings together so many renewable energy datasets in one easy-to-use tool."

In related news, retail electricity prices have risen the least in states that have the most installed solar and wind
capacity.

ClearSky Advisors, using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, found the five states with the most solar and wind installed – California, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon and Texas – saw annual electricity prices rise 3.2% from 2005-2010 as opposed to 4% in the five states with the least solar and wind.

The study counters the widely held perception that adding wind and solar PV generating capacity results in undue costs to ratepayers.

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