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Missouri   Missouri Profile

State Profile and Energy Estimates

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

Last Updated: March 15, 2018

Overview

Missouri is a national transportation hub for rail, river, road, and air shipments.

Missouri is a transportation hub for the United States at the junction of the nation's two largest rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi. The state's infrastructure and location give shippers the ability to move raw materials and finished products by rail, river, road, and air to destinations across the country.1,2 Missouri has little fossil fuel production, but it does have fossil fuel resources, including tar sands, coal, and oil shales.3 The rich soils of the plains and rolling hills north of the Missouri River and the southeastern lowlands form the state's fertile agricultural regions.4,5 Missouri's large corn and soybean crops are feedstocks for the state's biofuels industry.6,7 South of the Missouri River, the heavily forested Ozark Plateau has abundant biomass resource potential,8 and the open prairies of northern and western Missouri have the state's best wind resources.9 Three of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history were centered in southeastern Missouri. The potential for further tremors in that geologically active part of the state is taken into consideration in siting nuclear power plants throughout the Midwest.10,11,12

Missouri has a moderate climate, and extended periods of very cold or very hot weather are uncommon.13 The state's energy consumption per capita is close to the national median.14 The residential and the transportation sectors each account for about three-tenths of the energy consumed in Missouri. The industrial sector, which includes agriculture and the manufacture of food products, chemicals, and transportation equipment, and the commercial sector each account for about one-fifth of the state's total energy consumption.15,16

Petroleum

Missouri has undeveloped petroleum resources in the tar sands found in the western part of the state.

Missouri's oil production averages less than 10,000 barrels per month, the lowest output level in nearly a decade and down 60% from its peak production in 1984.17 The first petroleum production in the state came from wells drilled near Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1860s, just after the Civil War. Today, crude oil is produced in northwestern Missouri near the state's border with Kansas and Nebraska, and in eastern Missouri near St. Louis.18 Additional undeveloped petroleum resources exist in the tar sands of western Missouri and in the shale formation in the northern and extreme southwestern parts of the state.19

Six major crude oil pipelines pass through Missouri on their way to refining centers elsewhere in the Midwest. The only petroleum refinery in Missouri closed in 1982.20,21 Missouri receives finished petroleum products from several interstate pipelines that originate mainly along the Gulf Coast.22 Some petroleum products also arrive at the state's inland ports via barge on the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers.23,24

Missouri's total petroleum consumption per person is slightly below the national average.25,26 However, per person consumption of propane is well above the national median. Few Missouri residents use heating oil for home heating, but about 1 in every 11 households depend on propane for their primary heating fuel.27 In addition, Missouri is one of the top 10 corn-producing states in the nation, and, in wet years, propane is used to dry the corn after harvest.28,29 Three-fifths of Missouri's petroleum consumption is in the form of motor gasoline.30 Missouri is one of only two Midwestern states-the other is Minnesota-that require statewide use of oxygenated motor gasoline with 10% ethanol. The St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas have stricter requirements than the rest of the state for motor gasoline blends to limit emissions.31,32

Natural gas

One-third of Missouri lies on top of coal seams that have the potential to produce coalbed methane gas.

Missouri produces only a small amount of natural gas annually.33,34 Minor amounts of natural gas were produced in Missouri in the past, but, except for a few wells that supply natural gas for private use, production in the state has ceased.35 One-third of Missouri, about 24,000 square miles, lies on top of coal seams that potentially could produce coalbed methane. Those coal deposits are in northern and western Missouri.36,37

Missouri is crossed by a dozen interstate natural gas pipelines.38 Natural gas enters the state from the west and south, mostly from Kansas, Arkansas, and Nebraska. Most of the natural gas is sent on to Illinois and Iowa for delivery to markets in the Midwest and beyond.39,40 The eastern and western sections of the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), one of the nation's largest and longest natural gas pipelines, connect in northern Missouri. The REX pipeline's western section originates in Colorado and brings Rocky Mountain natural gas east. The pipeline's eastern section is bidirectional and can bring natural gas to Missouri that is produced from shale areas in Ohio and Pennsylvania.41,42 Missouri has one natural gas storage field, which can hold almost 14 billion cubic feet of gas.43,44 It is located near St. Louis.45

The residential sector, where more than half of the state's households use natural gas as their primary energy source for home heating,46 consumes one-third of the natural gas delivered to end users in Missouri. The industrial sector uses about one-fourth of the natural gas delivered to consumers, and the commercial sector accounts for another one-fifth.47 The use of natural gas for electricity generation fluctuates but has increased overall in recent years.48

Coal

Missouri holds about 1.5% of the U.S. economically recoverable coal reserves.49 Currently, only one surface mine in Missouri still produces coal, and its output is less than 1% of the coal consumed in the state.50 The first commercial coal production west of the Mississippi River occurred in Missouri. By the late 1880s, coal mining in the state was a thriving industry. All the state's coal is bituminous, and almost all of it has a high sulfur content.51

More coal is consumed for electricity generation in Missouri than in all but two other states.

More coal is consumed for electricity generation in Missouri than in all but two other states, with only Texas and Indiana using more.52 Most of the coal fueling Missouri's coal-fired power plants comes by rail from Wyoming. The electric power sector also uses small amounts of coal that arrive by rail from Illinois. Additional small amounts of coal from Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado are delivered to industrial and commercial users in the state by river barges, rail, and trucks.53

Electricity

Coal fuels for more than three-fourths of Missouri's net electricity generation, and 8 of the 10 largest power plants in the state are coal-fired.54,55 Coal's share of net generation has declined slightly in recent years as some older coal-fired plants have been retired, switched to natural gas, or been replaced with renewable generation.56,57,58 However, coal-fired power generation increased during 2017.59 One-tenth of the state's electricity generation comes from the Callaway nuclear power plant in Fulton, Missouri. The state has been obtaining about 5% of its net generation from natural gas-fired power plants. Most of the state's other net electricity generation comes from renewable energy sources, primarily wind, hydroelectric, solar, and biomass facilities.60,61

Almost all of the electricity generated in Missouri is provided by electric utilities.62 A large part the state is served by electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. However, most of the population, which is concentrated in the urban areas, receives its retail electric service from investor-owned utilities.63,64 The retail price of electricity in Missouri is below the national average for all end-use sectors.65 One-third of Missouri households rely on electricity as their primary energy source for home heating.66

Renewable energy

Renewable resources currently contribute almost 5% of Missouri's net electricity generation,67 but there is substantial renewable energy potential in the state. Missouri's primary renewable electricity sources are hydroelectric power and wind energy.68 The state has several pumped storage facilities and conventional hydroelectric power plants, and there is untapped hydroelectric power potential on the state's rivers.69,70,71 As of 2017, Missouri had about 1,000 megawatts of wind generating capacity installed among 500 wind turbines, and the state has additional wind energy resources located primarily in the northwest corner of the state.72,73 Two Missouri utilities have announced plans to add more than 1,000 megawatts of wind generation by the end of 2020.74,75 Small amounts of the state's net electricity generation come from biomass—mostly wood—and from solar energy.76 Missouri has significant biomass potential from agricultural waste, municipal solid waste, and landfill gas and from the 14 million acres of forest that cover roughly one-third of the state.77,78 The amount of electricity generation from solar photovoltaic installations is small, but increasing. Several utility-scale facilities have been built, including a 5.7 megawatt solar farm with more than 19,000 solar panels in O'Fallon, Missouri, and a 1 megawatt solar facility is planned at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.79,80 However, most of the state's solar generation comes from distributed (customer-sited, small-scale) facilities at both businesses and homes.81,82 The state averages more than 200 sunny days a year.83

Missouri ranks 3rd in the nation in biodiesel production capacity and 13th in ethanol production capacity.

Bioenergy production in Missouri includes alternative liquid fuels in the form of ethanol and biodiesel. The state has the third-largest biodiesel production capacity in the nation, with nine biodiesel plants.84 The biodiesel plants in Missouri use a variety of feedstocks, mostly soy oil or animal fats.85 Missouri also has 7 facilities that use corn, sorghum, or switchgrass to produce ethanol, and the state ranks 13th in the nation in ethanol production capacity.86,87

In 2008, Missouri voters approved a mandatory renewable energy standard to replace a voluntary goal. The standard requires investor-owned electric utilities to obtain at least 15% of their electricity sales from renewable resources by 2021. The standard also requires that solar energy supply at least 0.3% of total retail electricity sales by 2021. State regulators have implemented cost caps to keep retail electricity rates from rising more than 1% in any year because of the mandate.88

Endnotes

1 WorldAtlas, Longest Rivers in the United States, accessed February 5, 2018.
2 Missouri Department of Economic Development, Why Missouri?, Missouri Transportation and Logistics Portal, accessed February 5, 2018.
3 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, "Oil and Gas in the Show-Me State," The Geologic Column of Missouri, Volume 2, Issue 1 (Summer 2007), p. 1-4.
4 Christensen, Lawrence O., "Explore More with Facts for Now, Missouri," The New Book of Knowledge, accessed February 5, 2018.
5 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, Physiographic Regions of Missouri (2002).
6 "U.S. Ethanol Plants, All Platforms, Existing," Ethanol Producer Magazine, updated January 24, 2018.
7 "USA Plants, existing," Biodiesel Magazine, updated December 13, 2017.
8 Stelzer, Henry E., Chris Barnett, and Verel W. Bensen, "Sustainable Bioenergy Production from Missouri's Ozark Forests," U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Proceedings, 16th Central Hardwood Forest Conference, General Technical Report NRS-P-24 (March 2008), p. 306.
9 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Wind Energy in Missouri, accessed February 5, 2018.
10 Gramling, Carolyn, "New Map Fingers Future Hot Spots for U.S. Earthquakes," Science (July 17, 2014).
11 U.S. Geological Survey, Summary of 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquake Sequences, accessed February 5, 2018.
12 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Fact Sheet on Seismic Issues for Nuclear Power Plants, updated March 1, 2016.
13 Decker, Wayne L., "Climate of Missouri," Missouri Climate Center, accessed February 7, 2018.
14 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), State Energy Data System, Table C13, Energy Consumption Estimates per Capita by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2015.
15 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table C10, Energy Consumption Estimates by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2015.
16 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Data, GDP & Personal Income, Begin using data, Annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State, GDP in Current Dollars, Classification NAICS, All Industries, Area Missouri, Time Period 2013, 2014, 2015.
17 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Production, Annual, 2011-16.
18 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas in Missouri, Missouri Geological Survey fact sheet number 19 (November 2016).
19 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, "Oil and Gas in the Show-Me State," The Geologic Column of Missouri, Volume 2, Issue 1 (Summer 2007), p. 4.
20 "Amoco to Close Third Refinery," The New York Times (March 4, 1982).
21 U.S. EIA, Missouri Number of Operable Refineries as of January 1, 2017, accessed February 7, 2018.
22 Pipeline 101, Where Are Liquids Pipelines Located? accessed February 7, 2018.
23 World Port Source, Port of Kansas City, accessed February 7, 2018.
24 Missouri Port Authorities, City of St. Louis Port Authority, accessed February 7, 2018.
25 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table C11, Energy Consumption Estimates by Source, Ranked by State, 2015.
26 U.S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Missouri, Population Estimates, July 1, 2016.
27 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Missouri, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
28 U.S. EIA, "Propane Use for Crop Drying Depends on Weather and Corn Markets as well as Crop Size," Today in Energy (October 2, 2014).
29 University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Crop Resource Guide, Missouri Corn Facts, accessed February 7, 2018.
30 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table C2, Energy Consumption Estimates for Major Energy Sources in Physical Units, 2015.
31 Gardner, K.S., "U.S. Gasoline Requirements," ExxonMobil (June 2015).
32 Missouri Division of Energy, Biomass Industry, accessed February 12, 2018.
33 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Wet After Lease Separation, Proved Reserves as of Dec. 31, Annual, 2010-15.
34 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Gross Withdrawals, Annual-Million Cubic Feet, 2011-16.
35 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas in Missouri, Missouri Geological Survey fact sheet number 19 (November 2016).
36 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Coal, p. 3, accessed February 18, 2018.
37 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, "Oil and Gas in the Show-Me State," The Geologic Column of Missouri, Volume 2, Issue 1 (Summer 2007), p. 4, Unconventional Resources.
38 Pipeline 101, Natural Gas Pipelines Map, Region 6, accessed February 8, 2018.
39 U.S. EIA, International and Interstate Movements of Natural Gas by State, Missouri, 2011-16.
40 Missouri Public Service Commission, Missouri Natural Gas Pipelines, updated January 29, 2013.
41 Tallgrass Energy, Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), accessed February 8, 2018.
42 BusinessWire, "Tallgrass Energy and Rockies Express Pipeline Announce Completion of REX's Zone 3 Capacity Enhancement Project," Press Release (January 5, 2017).
43 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Number of Existing Fields, 2011-16.
44 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Storage Capacity, 2011-16.
45 Primary Systems, Laclede Gas, Facility, accessed February 8, 2018.
46 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Missouri, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate. I
47 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Consumption by End Use, Missouri, Annual, 2011-16.
48 U.S. EIA, Missouri Natural Gas Deliveries to Electric Power Consumers, 1997-2016.
49 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2016 (November 2017), Table 15.
50 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2016 (November 2017), Tables 1, 6, 26.
51 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Coal, accessed February 8, 2018.
52 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2016 (November 2017), Table 26.
53 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Distribution Report 2016 (November 2017), Domestic distribution of U.S. coal by destination State, Missouri, Table DS-24, Domestic Coal Distribution, by Destination State, 2016.
54 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.3.B, 1.4.B.
55 U.S. EIA, Missouri Electricity Profile 2016, Table 2, Ten largest plants by generation capacity, 2016.
56 City Utilities of Springfield, MO, "James River Power Station Switches From Coal to Natural Gas," Press Release (October 8, 2015).
57 Barker, Jacob, "Ameren's Meramec Coal Plant Starts Using Natural Gas," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (April 20, 2016).
58 Gray, Bryce, "Southwestern Missouri Utility Seeks to Retire Coal Plant Early as It Adds Wind Generation," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (November 12, 2017).
59 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.3.B, 1.4.B.
60 U.S. EIA, Missouri Electricity Profile 2016, Table 5, Electric power industry generation by primary energy source, 1990 through 2016.
61 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.3.B, 1.7.B, 1.9.B, 1.10.B, 1.11.B, 1.14.B.
62 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Table 1.3.B.
63 Missouri Public Service Commission, Missouri Electric Service Areas (September 2008).
64 U.S. EIA, Electric power sales, revenue, and energy efficiency Form EIA-861 detailed data files, 2016, Missouri, Sales to Ultimate Customers, customer count.
65 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Table 5.6.B.
66 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Missouri, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
67 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.10.B, 1.11.B, 1.12.B.
68 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.10.B, 1.11.B, 1.14.B.
69 Hadjerioua, Boualem, Yaxing Wei, and Shih-Chieh Kao, An Assessment of Energy Potential at Non-Powered Dams in the United States, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, GPO DOE/EE-0711 (April 2012), p. 25.
70 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.10.B, 1.12.B.
71 Missouri Department of Economic Development, Division of Energy, Missouri Comprehensive State Energy Plan (October 2015), p. 195.
72 American Wind Energy Association, Missouri Wind Energy, accessed February 9, 2018.
73 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Wind Energy in Missouri, accessed February 9, 2018.
74 Empire District Electric Company, "Empire District Investing Locally with New Wind Generation Initiative," Press Release (October 31, 2017).
75 Ameren Missouri, "Ameren Missouri Plans Major Expansion of Wind, Solar Generation to Serve Customers," Press Release (September 25, 2017.)
76 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.3.B, 1.15.B.
77 Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Forest Facts, accessed February 9, 2018.
78 Missouri Department of Economic Development, Division of Energy, 2013 Missouri Energy Resource Assessment (June 2014) p. 27-48.
79 Ameren Missouri, Generating Clean Energy Using Solar Power, accessed February 9, 2018.
80 Ameren Missouri, "Ameren Missouri Proposes Plan for Solar Panels at Lambert Airport," Press Release (May 31, 2017).
81 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.3.B, 1.17.B.
82 Solar Energy Industries Association, State Solar Policy, Missouri Solar, accessed February 9, 2018.
83 Missouri Division of Energy, Solar Energy, accessed February 12, 2018.
84 U.S. EIA, Monthly Biodiesel Production Report, Table 4. Biodiesel Producers and Production Capacity by State (November 2017).
85 Biodiesel Magazine, U.S. Biodiesel Plants, operational (December 13, 2017).
86 Ethanol Producer Magazine, U.S. Ethanol Plants, All Platforms, Operational (January 24, 2018).
87 Nebraska Energy Office, Ethanol Facilities' Capacity by State, updated January 11, 2018.
88 NC Clean Energy Technology Center, DSIRE, Missouri, Renewable Energy Standard, updated May 18, 2015.