Idaho's abundant renewable energy resources continue to fill a critical role in creating and maintaining a clean energy future - not only for the state of Idaho, but for the nation and the world. Idaho has supplies of almost all known renewable energy resources available to help meet our future needs. Some come directly or indirectly from the sun — such as solar, wind and biomass — and some from other natural processes such as geothermal heat.
- Bioenergy is derived from organic matter such as agricultural byproducts, forest residues and lawn clippings. It also includes methane gas collected from municipal solid waste landfills and wastewater treatment plants.
- Geothermal was probably the first renewable energy source harnessed for use in Idaho. Created by the natural heat emanating from the earth, Idaho's geothermal hot springs were a favorite gathering place for Native Americans who believed the waters had special healing powers. While there are some places in the state where geothermal water is hot enough to generate electricity, the most common applications are direct uses such as crop drying, fish farming, agriculture and space heating.
- Solar is radiant energy that comes from the sun. It has many applications, including generating electricity and heating structures and water. Idaho has many opportunities for solar applications, depending on location.
- Wind energy is the combined result of uneven heating of the earth's surface by the sun and its rotation. Windmills have provided power to pump water in Idaho for decades. More recently, new technologies such as wind turbines and wind energy converters have begun to generate electricity in Idaho, and more are in development.