Largely thanks to renewable portfolio standards, the Midwest is a renewable energy hub – including a 150% increase in solar capacity in 2012 – according to a report from the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE).
According to the report, technologies suited for expansion in the region include biomass, solar, hydropower, waste energy, biofuels and wind, among other clean technologies.
‘The past couple of years have seen an impressive increase in renewable energy sector activity throughout the American Midwest,’ says Lesley Hunter, ACORE's research and program manager and lead author of the report.
The Midwestern Region Report, the second in ACORE's four-part 6th annual Renewable Energy in the 50 States report, focuses on the clean energy sector in the 12 Midwest states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
‘The 12 states that comprise the American Midwest are home to nationally recognized bioenergy and wind energy resources," Hunter says. ‘Furthermore, smaller-scale renewable energy sources are also experiencing growth in the region. Midwestern solar power capacity, for example, experienced a 150 percent jump in 2012.’
The report says state renewable portfolio standards have been the single largest driver of this growth and expansion.
‘With strong renewable portfolio standards in place, the political will to protect and expand them, and the market stability they bring, these states are certain to protect their large domestic market share,’ Leslie says.
This September, ACORE released its Western Region Report, and both the Northeast and the Southeast Region Reports will come out within the next few months.
ACORE's 2013 Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Midwestern Region can be viewed here.