Solar and Hydro and Wind, Oh My!


When you turn your lights on at home, do you ever think about where that electricity comes from? In Oregon, our electricity comes from a variety of resources, from coal and petroleum to nuclear energy. We also use renewable resources – including water, wind, and the sun – to generate electricity.

Your home’s electricity could be coming from any (or all!) of these resources.

The Oregon Department of Energy tracks electricity resources across the state. Data from 2012-2014 shows that Oregon’s largest electricity generation is from renewable hydropower – and the share of other renewable energy resources is growing in Oregon, thanks to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Oregon’s RPS requires that 25% of the electricity provided by Oregon’s largest utilities come from renewable resources by 2025. Oregon House Bill 4036, passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Kate Brown earlier this month, increases that goal to 50% renewables by 2040. It also phases out coal-generated electricity by 2035.

Knowing our electricity resource mix helps us – and Oregonians across the state – track the power sources and better understand the environmental impacts of the electricity we use. Our analysis take into account all electricity that serves Oregon, including electricity that is generated outside the state, but is delivered to Oregon customers.

Interested in where your electricity is coming from? Contact your local utility provider to find out. Your provider may also offer a “green energy” program, allowing you to opt-in to renewable energy resources to power your home!