Energy Facts by State

Because of many local laws and guidelines, energy production and use is highly dictated by each state government. Below is a state-by-state assessment of energy production and use in the Northwest Central (from


  • Idaho is rich in renewable energy resources; geothermal energy capable of generating electricity at commercial levels is present in most of the state.
  • In 2012, Idaho’s in-state net electricity generation equaled 55% of the state’s total electric industry retail sales. The remainder came from other states and international imports.
  • In 2013, 78% of Idaho’s net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources, and Idaho had the lowest average electricity prices in the United States.
  • Hydroelectric power supplied 58% of net electricity generation in Idaho in 2013.
  • Idaho’s wind generation increased by nearly 35% in 2013, providing 16% of net electricity generation.


  • The Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota holds one of the largest accumulations of crude oil in the United States; its Bakken and Three Forks formations are currently estimated to be capable of producing 7.4 billion barrels of oil.
  • As of the end of 2012, Montana held over one-fourth of the nation’s estimated recoverable coal reserves at producing mines and was the eighth largest coal-producing state. It produced 3.6% of US coal in 2012 and distributed coal to nine other states.
  • Montana’s four refineries, with almost 30% of US Petroleum Administration for Defense District 4 (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming) refining capacity in 2012, are able to process heavy Canadian crude oil for regional markets.
  • Wind electric power generation in Montana grew by almost 32% in 2013 and supplied 6% of the state’s net electricity generation.
  • Montana has created a Renewable Energy Resource Standard requiring that public utilities and competitive electricity suppliers obtain 15% of electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2015.


  • The Niobrara shale formation is an emerging oil play that includes southwest Nebraska, northeast Colorado, and northwest Kansas.
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that almost 92% of Nebraska has suitable conditions for wind-powered electricity generation.
  • In 2013, Nebraska ranked 22nd among the 50 states in crude oil production. Most of the production came from small oil reserves in the western part of the state.
  • Nebraska’s net electricity generation from its two nuclear reactors was 38% lower in 2013 than in 2010, as a result of the temporary closure of the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant between April 2011 and December 2013.
  • Nebraska ranked second in the nation, after Iowa, in corn-based ethanol production capacity in 2014.

North Dakota

  • Although North Dakota’s total energy consumption is among the lowest in the nation as a result of its small population, the state’s consumption per capita ranks among the highest, in part because of the energy-intensive industrial sector and high heating demand in winter.
  • North Dakota had 6% of the nation’s recoverable coal reserves at producing mines as of 2012; the state’s coal production, which all came from surface mines, accounted for 2.7% of US coal production in 2012.
  • In 2013, North Dakota was the second largest crude oil-producing state in the nation and accounted for over 11.5% of total US crude oil production; a 177% increase in production from 2010 to 2013 was primarily driven by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Bakken formation.
  • In 2013, 79% of North Dakota’s net electricity generation came from coal, almost 16% came from wind energy, and about 5% came from conventional hydroelectric power sources.
  • North Dakota has abundant wind resources and ranked 6th in the nation in wind energy potential, 11th in utility-scale generation, and 12th in installed capacity in 2013.

South Dakota

  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that 88% of South Dakota’s land area is suitable for wind resource development.
  • In 2013, South Dakota had more net electricity generated from hydroelectric power than from any other source.
  • Wind and hydroelectric power provided 65% of South Dakota’s total net electricity generation in 2013.
  • South Dakota ranked fifth in the nation in ethanol production capacity in 2014.
  • South Dakotans’ price for electricity averaged 8.83 cents per kilowatt hour in 2013 across all sectors, compared to the national average of 10.08 cents per kilowatt hour.


  • Wyoming produced 39% of all coal mined in the United States in 2012.
  • In 2012, 34 states received coal from Wyoming mines, with 9 states, including Wyoming, obtaining more than 90% of their domestic coal from Wyoming.
  • Wyoming accounted for 7.4% of US marketed natural gas production in 2013.
  • In 2013, almost 89% of net electricity generation in Wyoming came from coal and about 10% came from renewable energy resources, primarily wind.
  • Wyoming had the third lowest average electricity price of any state in 2013.