What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy comes from natural sources that are constantly and sustainably replenished. The technologies featured here will make our families healthier, more secure, and more prosperous by improving our air quality, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, curbing global warming, adding good jobs to the economy and -- when they're properly sited -- protecting environmental values such as habitat and water quality. Working together, policymakers, communities, businesses, investors, utilities, and farmers can help build a sustainable future for America and the planet.

Find out where renewable energy is making a difference near you.

Where Are The Best Renewable Energy Resources?

Energy Map

Every state in America can produce its own energy from clean, renewable sources, keeping millions of energy dollars in-state, reducing pollution, and creating new jobs and new sources of income. With the right policies in place, states and localities can harness their own natural resources -- from farmland and sunshine to wind and skilled labor -- to develop a local renewable energy industry.

Find out which renewable energy sources your state can tap into.

Where Does Renewable Energy Come From?

Wind Energy

Wind energy costs about the same as electricity from new coal- and gas-fired power plants. And it's pollution-free.

Solar Energy

Inexhaustible and cheaper than ever, solar energy now powers everything from portable radios to homes, stores and neighborhoods.

Biomass Energy and Cellulosic Ethanol

Plant materials, such as wood, corn, and soy, account for nearly half the renewable energy in America -- but it's not always sustainable.

Biogas Energy

Farmers can reduce pollution and generate their own heat and electricity by converting animal waste into a clean-burning gas.

Geothermal Energy

Reservoirs of steam and hot water beneath the earth's surface hold enormous potential as a renewable energy resource.


Energy from moving water is the largest source of renewable electricity in the United States. While water is a renewable resource, rivers themselves are not.

Offshore Wind, Wave, and Tidal Energy

Offshore renewable energy holds great promise, and can be developed in a way that protects our ocean resources.

  • A typical 250-MW wind farm (around 100 turbines) will create 1,073 jobs over the lifetime of the project.
  • There are more than 400 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. supplying some of the 8,000 components in a wind turbine.
  • The solar industry has already created 100,000 American jobs and its continued growth could create hundreds of thousands more.
  • Organic farmers in New Jersey installed solar panels in a former pasture and saw their monthly electric bill plunge from $1,500 to $2.
  • Experts predict the cost of solar power will drop below retail electricity rates in many parts of the country between 2013 and 2018.
  • Recently, Verdant Powerreceived approval to build the first commercial tidal power project in the United States, in New York City’s East River.
  • Biodigesters have the potential to slash methane emissions by 1.8 million metric tons—the equivalent pollution reduction of taking 6.5 million cars off the road.
  • The near-term development of 5,600 megawatts of geothermal energy would result in the creation of almost 100,000 jobs.
  • Investments in the solar and electric vehicle industries are expected to create nearly 17,000 jobs in Tennessee by 2014.
  • With a national clean-energy building boom, Ohio could see almost 23,000 additional jobs and $3.6 billion dollars of investment in manufacturing.
  • Researchers estimate that the wind energy industry alone could create 25,000 jobs in Michigan by 2025.
  • Each year Montanans spend $4.7 billion on petroleum, natural gas, and coal.
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