The current population of Idaho is estimated to be 1.79 million people. In December 2018, state utilities used renewable energy (75.1%) and natural gas (24.9%) to generate electricity. Hydropower is the primary sources of renewable energy in Idaho.
Idaho’s reliance on renewable energy contributes to their low electricity prices. In 2018, the average price of residential electricity in the state was 9.8 ¢ per kWh, which is the 9th cheapest price in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 12.5 ¢ per kWh.
The state of Idaho hasn’t established any renewable energy or greenhouse gas emissions goals. However, global warming and climate change is a significant concern for state residents. The city council of state capital, Boise recently approved a plan to move the city’s electricity to 100% renewable energy by 2035. Boise is now the 115th municipality in America to adopt this renewable energy goal.
Idaho Power has also announced that it will provide 100% zero carbon emission energy by 2045. The company is an electric utility that serves 1.3 million customers in Idaho and eastern Oregon. Idaho Power is headquartered in Boise and is a subsidiary of IDACORP Inc, an electric power holding company.
Idaho Power is already acting to meet the zero carbon emission goals by announcing it will close the North Valmy coal-fired plant in Nevada. Idaho Power will replace the power from the coal-fired plant with 120 MW solar park that is being built near Twin Falls, Idaho. Idaho Power will buy the power from the new solar park for only 2.2 ¢ per kWh, ensuring customers will have reliable, sustainable, low cost, renewable energy.
The move by utilities across America from fossil fuels to renewable energy is being driven by economics. Onshore wind, solar and hydropower are now cheaper than any form of fossil fuel, excluding any tax incentives. The Department of Energy forecasts this trend will continue over the foreseeable future.
California, Oregon and Washington are states that have embraced green energy programs. In my opinion, Idaho has done far more to increase the use of renewable energy over the past fifteen years than any of these “green” states. Only Idaho has achieved 75% electricity generation from renewable energy.
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