Oregonians should be proud of our state ranking third in the nation for renewable energy production by Compare50.org. Compare50 is an Internet tool launched by the California non-profit Next10, allowing users to compare energy production, job creation, technological advancements, and more between states on a timeline of over 10 years.
Although Iowa most recently topped the charts, historical data shows that Oregon and Washington have been besting the game much longer. As early as 1990, both Oregon and Washington had been competing among the top five renewable producers, a trend that has continued until the present.
According to Oregon.gov, we currently produce just shy of 50% of our electricity from renewable sources. Hydroelectricity is by far our main renewable source, contributing over 42% to the total energy share. Wind is the next largest renewable source, providing a meager 5.62%. Before we get too excited, it is worth mentioning that we generate a combined total of 47.2% of our electricity from coal and natural gas.
Compare50 claims to utilize the most up-to-date sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, the Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The goal of Compare50 and Next10 as a whole is to provide the tools necessary for people to gain a better understanding of issues affecting our communities.
Check out Compare50.org and see how Oregon stacks up to its neighbors. In light of toxic air pollution hotspots in Portland, maybe it’s time Oregon ended the competition for most renewable resources and took home the gold.
By Anthony Vitale