Bringing the Economy Home

Why Idaho’s Electricity Is Cheaper Than The Rest of The Nation’s

Lately, we’ve covered the wind industry’s aggressive move into Idaho, and utilities’ attempts to rein in the industry’s expansion in the state. Related to that reporting, it’s worth taking a look at the big picture of electricity generation in Idaho.  With that in mind, we posted this map last week.  Now, let’s size it up from another angle.

Source: Institute for Energy Research

As the chart above shows, hydroelectricity accounts for nearly 80 percent of Idaho’s total electricity generation.  That results in an energy mix that is very different from the national one, in which coal, nuclear and natural gas account for more than 85 percent of generation.

Source: Institute for Energy Research

One result of this atypical energy mix: electricity is cheap in Idaho.  According to the right-leaning, non-for-profit Institute for Energy Research, the state has the second cheapest electricity in the nation.  The only state that beats Idaho’s cost of 6.49 cents per kilowatt hour is neighboring Wyoming, at 6.09 cents.


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