Lower Austria, the largest state in Austria with 1.65 million people, now gets 100% of its power from renewable sources. The sources of the power may be surprising to some. They are 63% hydropower, 26% wind, 9% biomass, and 2% solar.
The Danube River provides most of the renewable energy. Hydropower is still the king of renewable energy by far, both worldwide and in the US.
In 2014, renewable energy accounted for 13 percent of the total net electricity generated in the United States. Hydropower accounted for 48 percent of that total. The states with the largest hydroelectric generation are Washington, California, New York, Oregon and Alabama
For apparent political reasons, California does not count big hydro as renewable energy but does include small hydro. Go figure. Yes, big dams can create environmental problems (so can small ones.) However big hydro produces prodigious amounts of energy at low cost, as does so 24/7 as long as there is sufficient water. Drought is not a problem in Austria.
The focus on clean energy isn’t just good for the environment, either. According to the report, Lower Austria has created some 38,000 ‘green jobs’ thanks to its heavy investments in renewable energy production, and the state aims to up this to 50,000 positions by 2030. The rest of Austria is also remarkably invested in renewables, with 75 percent of the country’s electricity coming from clean energy.