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Michigan   Michigan Profile

State Profile and Energy Estimates

Profile AnalysisPrint State Energy Profile
(overview, data, & analysis)

Last Updated: May 18, 2017

Overview

Michigan's Lower Peninsula contains the state's nearly 10,000 producing natural gas wells.

Known as the Great Lakes State, Michigan has within its boundaries portions of four of the five Great Lakes. The state has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska, and vessels that carry coal and other cargo transit the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Seaway arriving at and departing from several of the state's many ports.1,2,3 The northern ends of Lake Michigan and of Lake Huron divide the state into two distinct sections—the Upper Peninsula, which is lightly populated and heavily forested, and the Lower Peninsula, where most of Michigan's population lives and all of the major cities, manufacturing industries, commercial agriculture, and crude oil and natural gas production are located.4,5,6,7

In addition to Michigan's natural gas and crude oil reserves, the state has many renewable resources.8,9 Michigan's largest and longest rivers are in the Lower Peninsula, but, of the state's nearly 200 waterfalls, all but one are located in the Upper Peninsula.10,11 With almost 40,000 square miles of the Great Lakes within its borders and thousands of smaller inland lakes and ponds, almost half of Michigan is water.12,13 Winds that sweep across the Great Lakes provide the state with a substantial offshore wind energy resource.14 Dams on the state's many rivers provide hydroelectric power despite the generally level terrain and relatively small size of many of the rivers.15 With half of the state's land area covered in forest, and the abundant municipal solid waste and landfill gas provided by the state's large population, Michigan has considerable biomass resources.16,17,18

With half of the state forested, Michigan has abundant woody biomass resources.

Michigan is among the top 10 states in the nation in both population and total energy consumption.19,20 Although the Great Lakes moderate Michigan's temperatures, extremes occur in the interior of the Lower Peninsula. Snowfall, on the other hand, is highest along the western shorelines of the Lower Peninsula and across the Upper Peninsula.21 Despite its cold winters, Michigan is in the bottom two-fifths of all states in energy use per capita.22 The residential sector is the leading end-use energy-consuming sector in the state, followed closely by the industrial and transportation sectors.23 Michigan's most energy-intensive industrial activity is petroleum refining. Other energy-intensive industrial activities in the state include the manufacture of machinery, fabricated metal products, chemicals, plastics, rubber products, and transportation equipment.24 Transportation equipment, including automobiles, trucks, buses, airplanes, and boats, contributes the largest share of the state's manufacturing gross domestic product.25

Petroleum

Michigan's crude oil reserves and production are modest. Although the cumulative crude oil production from all oil fields in the state has exceeded 1.3 billion barrels, production has declined from a peak of 34.7 million barrels per year in 1979 to about 5.7 million barrels in 2016.26,27 Proved reserves and production each account for less than 0.2% of the nation's total.28,29

Several petroleum pipeline systems cross Michigan.30 Crude oil pipelines from western Canada enter Michigan from the northwest by way of Wisconsin and from the southwest by way of Wisconsin through Illinois and Indiana.31 Other crude oil pipelines originating in the Gulf South enter Michigan through Ohio.32 The port cities of Port Huron on the Lower Peninsula and Mackinac Island in Lake Huron also receive crude oil imports from Canada.33

Michigan's one oil refinery is located near Detroit. An upgrade at that refinery in 2012 increased the refinery's heavy oil processing capacity by 80,000 barrels per calendar day and allowed the processing of heavy Canadian crude oils. By 2016, the refinery's total crude oil processing capacity was about 132,000 barrels per calendar day. The refinery's output includes motor gasoline, distillates, asphalt, fuel-grade coke, chemical-grade propylene, propane, slurry oil, and sulfur.34,35

Most of the petroleum products consumed in Michigan are produced at refineries in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Petroleum product pipeline systems that supply Michigan markets enter the Lower Peninsula from the Chicago, Illinois, area to the southwest and also from the Toledo, Ohio, area to the southeast. There are no petroleum product pipelines in the Upper Peninsula.36 Petroleum products are delivered to the Upper Peninsula by truck from terminals in Wisconsin.37 The Lower Peninsula port cities of Detroit and Port Huron receive almost all the state's petroleum product imports from Canada. Some Canadian petroleum products also arrive at Sault Sainte Marie on the Upper Peninsula.38

About two-thirds of the petroleum consumed in Michigan is motor gasoline.39 Federal regulations allow conventional motor gasoline to be sold in most of the state year-round. However, the vapor pressure of motor gasoline sold in eight southeastern Michigan counties during the summer is regulated to reduce emissions that contribute to ground-level ozone.40,41 Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption in Michigan is greater than in many states. Michigan has the largest residential sector LPG consumption in the nation and ranks among the top 10 states in the use of LPG overall.42 About 1 in 10 Michigan homes heat with LPG, kerosene, or fuel oil, with most of those homes using LPG.43

Natural gas

Michigan has the most underground natural gas storage capacity in the nation.

The Antrim Field in the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula is one of the nation's top 100 natural gas fields ranked by proved reserves.44 The state has about 0.5% of the U.S. proved natural gas reserves and about 10,000 producing natural gas wells.45,46 However, natural gas production in Michigan peaked in 1997 and is declining. By 2015, Michigan's natural gas production was about one-third that of 1997. The state's 2015 natural gas production equaled only one-eighth of the state's needs.47,48,49

Michigan does not have any natural gas market hubs, but several interstate natural gas pipelines cross the state, bringing natural gas to Michigan consumers on the way to other markets in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.50,51 Natural gas enters the state from Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Michigan also receives natural gas imports from Canada at St. Clair, Marysville, and Detroit. The bulk of the natural gas flowing out of Michigan flows into Canada, most of it at St. Clair, with much lesser amounts exiting at the Detroit, Marysville, and Sault Sainte Marie border crossings.52,53,54 With more than one-tenth of U.S. capacity, Michigan has the most underground natural gas storage capacity in the nation, and the second-largest number of natural gas storage fields after Pennsylvania.55,56 During the high-demand winter months, natural gas is withdrawn from storage to supply Michigan and neighboring states.57,58 Michigan routinely ranks among the top 5 in residential use of natural gas and in the top 10 in total consumption.59,60 More than three-fourths of Michigan households use natural gas as their primary source for home heating.61

Coal

Coal-fired power plants provide the largest share of electricity generated in Michigan.

Michigan produced substantial amounts of coal between 1860 and 1949, but there are no longer any active coal mines in the state.62,63 However, Michigan's ports handle almost one-third of all Great Lakes coal shipments.64 The state relies heavily on coal for electricity generation, and some coal is used at Michigan's coke plants and by other industrial, commercial, and institutional consumers.65 Most of the coal consumed in Michigan comes by rail from the west, primarily from Wyoming and Montana. Coal also comes from nearby states, including some from the coal fields of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Illinois.66

Electricity

Coal fuels the largest share of Michigan's electricity generation, and 4 of the 10 largest power plants in the state are coal-fired.67 However, in 2016, coal fueled less than two-fifths of the state's net generation, down from about half just two years earlier. Natural gas-fired power plants' share of Michigan's electricity generation nearly doubled in the same period. In 2016, natural gas provided more than one-fourth of the state's electricity generation. Michigan's three nuclear power plants typically supply nearly three-tenths of the state's net generation. Wind energy has been contributing a small but increasing share of the electricity delivered to the Michigan grid.68,69

Because of Michigan's unique geography, the state is serviced by two major interstate electricity grids. One grid covers the Lower Peninsula and a small portion of the Upper Peninsula, and the other grid covers much of the Upper Peninsula.70 Most of the state's power plants are located in the more densely populated Lower Peninsula.71 The amount of electricity generated in Michigan is greater than in more than three-fourths of the states, but residential electricity sales per person in Michigan are well below the national average, in part because less than one-tenth of Michigan households rely on electricity as their primary source of energy for home heating.72,73,74 As a result, Michigan sends electricity out of state.75

Renewable energy

Michigan's renewable resources are spread across the state. Wind farms are primarily located along the shorelines of the Great Lakes. Electricity generation from biomass plants at municipal landfills predominate in the southern part of the Lower Peninsula, while those using wood and wood waste are more common in northern Michigan. Although the state's largest hydroelectric facility by capacity is a pumped-storage plant on the Lower Peninsula, most of Michigan's hydroelectric facilities are located at dams on both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas.76 About 114 of the approximately 2,500 dams in Michigan produce hydroelectric power.77

Michigan is among the top 15 states in the nation in electricity generation from wind.

Overall, renewable resources contribute almost 8% to Michigan's net electricity generation.78 Most of the state's renewable electricity generation comes from wind, which surpassed biomass as Michigan's primary renewable energy resource for electricity generation in 2013.79 Estimates of Michigan's potential generating capacity from wind have increased with improved technologies, and the state's potential was ranked 16th in the nation in 2014.80 Michigan is among the top 15 states in the nation in installed wind capacity and in the amount of electricity generated from wind.81,82 Michigan has 24 utility-scale wind farms with a combined total capacity in excess of 1,600 megawatts.83 Substantial renewable electricity generation also comes from wood, wood waste, and municipal solid waste, and several facilities generate electricity using methane recovered from landfills.84 Some Michigan dairy farms have anaerobic digesters that convert animal waste into biogas and electricity.85

Michigan has five ethanol and three biodiesel production plants in operation. Corn is used as a feedstock for all of Michigan's ethanol plants, and those plants have a combined capacity of more than 270 million gallons of ethanol each year. The state is the 12th largest ethanol producer in the nation.86,87 Michigan's biodiesel refineries can use a variety of oils, fats, and greases as feedstocks to produce more than 10 million gallons of biodiesel per year. 88

Michigan's Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act, enacted in 2008, required that the state's retail electricity providers, including investor-owned electric utilities, alternative retail suppliers, electric cooperatives, and municipal electric utilities, obtain at least 10% of the electricity they sell from renewable energy resources by 2015. The act also required utilities to implement energy conservation and energy efficiency programs. The standard allowed electric utilities to use energy efficiency and advanced cleaner energy technologies to fulfill part of the 10% requirement. By the end of 2015, Michigan electricity providers had sourced 9.6% of their retail sales from renewable resources and used energy credits to achieve the full 10% requirement. In 2016, the requirement was expanded to 15% by 2021.89,90

Endnotes

1 NETSTATE, Michigan, The State of Michigan, updated February 25, 2016.
2 State of Michigan, Does Michigan have the longest coast line in the United States?, accessed April 27, 2017.
3 World Port Source, Ports, Michigan, accessed March 29, 2017.
4 NETSTATE, Michigan, The State of Michigan, updated February 25, 2016.
5 Kandell, Jonathan, "The Wonderful Wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula," Smithsonian (May 2011).
6 Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Public Service Commission, About Michigan's Natural Gas Industry, Exploration and Production, accessed March 29, 2017.
7 Michigan Oil and Gas Producers Education Foundation, Geologic formations of Michigan, accessed March 29, 2017.
8 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Michigan Profile Data, Reserves and Supply, accessed April 2, 2017.
9 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Michigan Renewable Energy Resource Maps, accessed April 2, 2017.
10 Michigan State University, Michigan Geography, Lakes, Rivers and Wetlands, accessed March 29, 2017.
11 Go Waterfalls, Great Lakes Waterfalls and Beyond, Michigan Waterfalls, updated March 25, 2008.
12 NETSTATE, Michigan, The State of Michigan, updated February 25, 2016.
13 NETSTATE, Michigan, The Geography of Michigan, updated February 25, 2016.
14 National Renewable Energy Laboratory, United States Land-Based and Offshore Annual Average Wind Speed at 80 m (January 9, 2012).
15 Michigan Department of Natural Resources, History of Michigan's Dams, accessed April 2, 2017.
16 Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Forests, accessed April 2, 2017.
17 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Overview, Biomass Power Plant Map Layer, accessed April 2, 2017.
18 U.S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Michigan, accessed April 2, 2017.
19 U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, Table 1, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016.
20 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C10, Energy Consumption Estimates by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2014.
21 City-Data, Michigan Climate, accessed April 3, 2017.
22 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C13, Energy Consumption per Capita by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2014.
23 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C10, Energy Consumption Estimates by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2014.
24 U.S. EIA, Consumption and Efficiency, Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey data, Consumption of energy for all purposes, by industry and region, Table 1.1, First Use of Energy for All Purposes (Fuel and Nonfuel), 2010.
25 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Data, GDP & Personal Income, Annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State, GDP in Current Dollars, NAICS, All Industries, Michigan, 2014.
26 Western Michigan University, Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education, Michigan Oil and Gas, accessed April 3, 2017.
27 U.S. EIA, Michigan Field Production of Crude Oil, Annual, 1981-2016.
28 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Production, Annual, 2016.
29 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Proved Reserves, Reserves Changes, and Production, December 31, 2015.
30 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Data, Distribution and Marketing, accessed April 4, 2017.
31 Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Pipelines, Crude Oil Pipeline and Refinery Map, accessed April 4, 2017.
32 Sunoco Logistics, Crude Oil Segment Map, accessed April 4, 2017.
33 U.S. EIA, Petroleum and Other Liquids, Company Level Imports, January 2017, accessed April 3, 2017.
34 Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Michigan Refining Division, accessed April 4, 2017.
35 U.S. EIA, Number and Capacity of Petroleum Refineries, Michigan, accessed April 4, 2017.
36 Michigan Public Service Commission, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Michigan Energy Overview, Petroleum (October 2011).
37 Snyder, Richard D., Governor, State of Michigan, Executive Order No. 2012-12, State of Energy Emergency, Waiver of Regulations Relating to Motor Carriers and Drivers Transporting Gasoline, Diesel Fuel, and Jet Fuel (July 24, 2012).
38 U.S. EIA, Petroleum and Other Liquids, Company Level Imports, January 2017, accessed April 3, 2017.
39 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C2, Energy Consumption Estimates for Major Energy Sources in Physical Units, 2014.
40 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gasoline Standards, Reformulated Gasoline, updated December 5, 2016.
41 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gasoline Standards, Gasoline Reid Vapor Pressure, updated April 24, 2017.
42 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table F12, Liquefied Petroleum Gases Consumption Estimates, 2015.
43 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Michigan, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
44 U.S. EIA, Top 100 U.S. Oil and Gas Fields (March 2015), Table 2, Top 100 U.S. gas fields as of December 31, 2013.
45 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Data, Reserves and Supply, accessed April 4, 2017.
46 U.S. EIA, Number of Producing Gas Wells, 2015, accessed April 4, 2017.
47 U.S. EIA, Michigan Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals, 1967-2015, accessed April 4, 2017.
48 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Marketed Production, accessed April 4, 2017.
49 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Consumption by End Use, Total Consumption, accessed April 4, 2017.
50 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Data, Distribution and Marketing, accessed April 4, 2017.
51 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Overview, Natural Gas Inter/Intrastate Pipeline Map Layer, accessed April 4, 2017.
52 U.S. EIA, International and Interstate Movements of Natural Gas by State, Michigan, accessed April 4, 2017.
53 U.S. EIA, U.S. Natural Gas Imports by Point of Entry, Pipeline Volumes, accessed April 4, 2017.
54 U.S. EIA, U.S. Natural Gas Exports by Point of Exit, Pipeline Volumes, accessed April 4, 2017.
55 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Storage Capacity, 2015.
56 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Storage Number of Existing Fields, 2015.
57 U.S. EIA, Michigan Natural Gas Underground Storage Withdrawals, Monthly, 1990-2017.
58 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Delivered to Consumers in Michigan (Including Vehicle Fuel), Monthly, 1990-2017.
59 U.S. EIA, Share of Total U.S. Natural Gas Delivered to Consumers, Residential, Annual, 2015.
60 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C11, Energy Consumption by Source, Ranked by State, 2014.
61 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Michigan, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
62 Kalliokoski, J., and E. J. Welch, "Magnitude and Quality of Michigan's Coal Reserves," U.S. Bureau of Mines, OFR-102-76 USBM Open File Report (1977), p. 1.
63 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Mining, Coal Mining, accessed April 4, 2017.
64 Port of Detroit, The Economic Impacts of the Port of Detroit (October 18, 2011), Facts and Statistics, p. 2.
65 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2015 (November 2016), Table 26, U.S. Coal Consumption by End Use Sector, by Census Division and State, 2015 and 2014.
66 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Distribution Report 2015 (November 2016), Michigan, Table DS-21, Domestic Coal Distribution by Destination State, 2015.
67 U.S. EIA, Michigan Electricity Profile 2015, Table 2A, Ten largest plants by capacity, 2015; Table 2B, Ten largest plants by generation, 2015.
68 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 1.4.B, 1.7.B, 1.9.B, 1.14.B.
69 U.S. EIA, Michigan Electricity Profile 2015, Table 5, Electric power industry generation by primary energy source, 1990 through 2015.
70 North American Electric Reliability Corporation, NERC Interconnections, accessed April 5, 2017.
71 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Overview, All Power Plants Map Layer, accessed April 5, 2017.
72 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 5.4.B.
73 U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, Table 1, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016.
74 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Michigan, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
75 U.S. EIA, Michigan Electricity Profile 2015, Table 10, Supply and disposition of electricity, 1990 through 2015.
76 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Overview, All Power Plants Map Layer, accessed April 5, 2017.
77 Michigan Department of Natural Resources, History of Michigan's Dams, accessed April 5, 2017.
78 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 1.10.B, 1.11.B.
79 U.S. EIA, Michigan Electricity Profile 2015, Table 5, Electric power industry generation by primary energy source, 1990 through 2015.
80 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Michigan Wind Resource Map and Potential Wind Capacity, NREL Table, Estimates of Land Area and Wind Energy Potential, by State (February 2015).
81 American Wind Energy Association, U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2016 Market Report (January 26, 2017), p. 8.
82 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Table 1.14.B.
83 American Wind Energy Association, Michigan Wind Energy, accessed April 5, 2017.
84 U.S. EIA, Michigan Profile Overview, Biomass Power Plant Map Layer, accessed April 5, 2017.
85 Scenic View Dairy, Energy, accessed April 5, 2017.
86 Ethanol Producer Magazine, U.S. Ethanol Plants, All Platforms, Existing, updated February 14, 2017.
87 Nebraska Energy Office, Ethanol Facilities Nameplate Capacity and Operating Production, Ranked by State, updated October 20, 2016.
88 Biodiesel Magazine, USA Plants, Operational, updated December 12, 2016.
89 DSIRE, NC Clean Energy Technology Center, Michigan Renewable Energy Standard (February 28, 2017), Energy Optimization Standard (February 11, 2016).
90 Michigan Public Service Commission, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, "MPSC: All Michigan electric providers met or exceeded renewable energy standard in 2015, state poised to increase renewables to 15 percent by 2021," Press Release (February 15, 2017).