In 2022, Idaho’s economy was ranked 38th in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP). The state’s economy is dependent on advanced manufacturing, aerospace, agriculture, forestry, food processing, mining, and tourism industries.
Power Generation Capabilities
In June 2023, utilities used renewable energy (71.2%) and natural gas (28.8%) to generate electricity in Idaho. Hydropower and wind are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in the state.
In June 2023, the average cost of residential electricity in Idaho was 11.78¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 16.11¢ per kWh.
Recent renewable energy developments in Idaho include:
- 1,000 MW Wind Project – New York power company, LS Power is continuing to seek approval to build the Lava Ridge Wind project at a site approximately 120 miles southeast of the state capital, Boise.
- 800 MW Wind Project – LS Power is continuing work on the Salmon Falls wind project at a site approximately 80 miles southwest of Boise. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
- 120 MW Solar Project – In January 2023, North Carolina utility, Duke Energy commissioned the Jackpot Solar project at a site approximately 130 miles southeast of Boise.
Idaho has neither a renewable portfolio standard nor a renewable energy goal. However, the economics of low cost, reliable renewable energy have prompted utilities to develop new renewable energy projects, instead of costly coal or natural gas fueled projects.
Idaho is rich in renewable energy resources, including hydropower, wind, geothermal, solar, and biomass. In May 2023, the Gem State generated over 71% of its electricity from renewable energy!
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy issues.