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Missouri   Missouri Profile

State Profile and Energy Estimates

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(overview, data, & analysis)

Last Updated: May 21, 2020

Overview

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, highway, and air to destinations across the country.1,2 Missouri has little fossil fuel production, but it does have fossil fuel resources, including coal deposits and petroleum-bearing tar sands and oil shales.3,4,5,6 The rich soils of the plains, the rolling hills north of the Missouri River, and the southeastern lowlands form the state's fertile agricultural regions.7,8 Missouri's large corn and soybean crops are feedstocks for the state's biofuels industry.9,10 South of the Missouri River, the heavily forested Ozark Plateau has abundant biomass resource potential, and the open prairies of northern and western Missouri have the state's best wind resources.11,12,13 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.14,15,16

Missouri consumes nearly 10 times as much energy as the state produces.

Missouri has a moderate climate, and extended periods of very cold or very hot weather are uncommon.17 The state's energy consumption per capita is close to the national median.18 Missouri consumes almost 10 times more energy than it produces.19 Transportation is the largest energy-consuming sector, accounting for slightly more than three-tenths of the state's total energy use, and the residential sector accounts for more than one-fourth. Almost one-fourth of the state's energy consumption comes from the commercial sector. The industrial sector—which includes agriculture and the manufacture of food and beverage products, chemicals, and automobiles and vehicle parts—accounts for nearly one-fifth of the state's energy consumption.20,21

Petroleum

Missouri has undeveloped petroleum resources in both tar sands and shale formations found in the state.

Missouri's oil production in 2019 averaged slightly more than 6,800 barrels per month, the lowest output level since 2007 and down 71% from the state's peak production in 1984.22 The first crude oil production in the state came from wells drilled near Kansas City, Missouri, in the late 1860s. Today, crude oil is produced in northwestern Missouri near the state's border with Kansas and Nebraska, and in eastern Missouri near St. Louis.23 Additional undeveloped petroleum resources exist in the tar sands of western Missouri and in the shale formations in the northern and extreme southwestern parts of the state.24,25

Six major crude oil pipelines pass through Missouri on their way to refining centers elsewhere in the Midwest. The last petroleum refinery in the state closed in 1982.26,27 Missouri receives finished petroleum products from several interstate pipelines, most of which originate along the Gulf Coast.28 Some petroleum products also arrive at the state's inland ports via barge on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.29,30

Missouri's petroleum consumption per capita is slightly below the national average.31 Almost two-thirds of Missouri's petroleum consumption is in the form of motor gasoline.32 Missouri is one of only two Midwestern states—the other is Minnesota—that require statewide use of motor gasoline with at least 10% ethanol. In order to reduce emissions, the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas have stricter motor gasoline requirements than the rest of the state.33 Few Missouri residents use heating oil for home heating, but about 1 in every 11 households depend on propane for their primary heating fuel.34 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 crop after the harvest.35,36

Coal

Missouri holds about 1.5% of U.S. economically recoverable coal reserves, but much of the coal has a high sulfur content that makes it more expensive to burn for many companies because the coal's emissions would have to meet federal clean air standards. All of Missouri's mined coal is bituminous—which has a high heat content when burned and is used to generate electricity and to make iron and steel—and most of it is sent out of the state by truck to Kansas.37,38,39 The state has one operating surface mine that produces a small amount of coal for industrial use.40,41,42 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.43

More coal is consumed for electricity generation in Missouri than in all but two states—Texas and Indiana.

More coal is burned for electricity generation in Missouri than in any other state, except for Texas and Indiana.44 Nearly all the coal fueling Missouri's coal-fired power plants is brought into the state by rail from Wyoming. Minor amounts of coal arrive by rail from Illinois. Additional small amounts of coal from Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado are delivered by river barges, rail, and trucks to industrial and commercial users in the state.45

Natural gas

Missouri has minor natural gas reserves and produces a small amount of natural gas annually.46,47 Modest amounts of natural gas were produced in Missouri in the past, but, except for a few wells that supply natural gas for private use, commercial production in the state has ceased.48,49 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 located in the northern and western areas of the state.50,51

The eastern and western sections of the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), one of the nation’s longest natural gas pipelines, connect in northern Missouri.

Missouri is crossed by about a dozen interstate natural gas pipelines.52,53 Natural gas enters the state from the west and south, mostly by way of Kansas, Nebraska, and Arkansas. Most of that natural gas continues on to Illinois and Iowa for delivery to markets in the Midwest and beyond.54 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.55,56,57 Missouri has one natural gas storage field, which is located near St. Louis. It can hold almost 14 billion cubic feet of gas.58,59,60

Missouri's residential sector, where half of the households use natural gas as their primary energy source for heating, consumes more than one-third of the natural gas delivered to end users in the state. The commercial, industrial, and electric power sectors each account for about one-fifth of the state's natural gas consumption by end users. The use of natural gas for electricity generation in Missouri fluctuates, depending on the relative prices of coal and natural gas as generation fuels. In addition, as nearly 900 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity shut down in recent years, natural gas use in the state's power sector increased and reached a record high in 2019.61,62,63

Electricity

In 2019, coal fueled 73% of Missouri's electricity net generation, and 8 of the 10 largest power plants in the state were coal-fired.64,65 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 replaced with renewable generation.66,67,68,69 About 12% of the state's electricity generation in 2019 came from the Callaway nuclear power plant in Fulton, Missouri. The state obtained nearly 10% of its net generation from natural gas-fired power plants. Most of the state's remaining in-state electricity was generated using renewable energy, primarily wind energy and hydropower.70

On an annual basis, Missouri typically uses more electricity than it generates and has to import power from other states via the regional grid.71 Almost all of the electricity generated in Missouri is provided by electric utilities.72 The northeast corner and southeastern part of the state is served primarily by electric cooperatives. However, most of the state's population is concentrated in the urban areas—mainly St. Louis and Kansas City—and receives retail electric service from investor-owned utilities.73,74 The residential sector uses the most electricity in the state, accounting for almost half of total power sales.75 The average retail price for electricity in Missouri's residential sector is near the lowest one-fifth of the states.76 Nearly 4 out of 10 Missouri households rely on electricity as their primary energy source for home heating.77

Renewable energy

In 2019, renewable sources contributed about 6% of Missouri's total electricity net generation, and there is substantial renewable energy potential in the state. Missouri's primary renewable electricity sources are wind energy, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of the state's renewable generation, and hydropower, which provided one-fourth.78 At the end of 2019, Missouri had almost 1,000 megawatts of wind power generating capacity from 500 wind turbines, and there were nearly 900 megawatts under construction.79 The best wind energy resources are located in the northwest corner of the state.80 The state has several hydroelectric pumped storage facilities and conventional hydroelectric power plants, and there is other untapped hydropower potential on the state's rivers.81,82,83 At a pumped storage facility, during periods of low electricity demand, inexpensive power is used to pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. Then, during periods of high electricity demand, the water is released from the upper reservoir and flows through tunnels to turbines in the lower reservoir, generating electricity. Although the plant uses more power than it generates, the plant supplies lower production-cost power in periods of peak demand when electricity prices are highest.84

Small amounts of the state's electricity generation come from biomass—mostly wood—and from solar energy.85 Missouri has significant biomass potential from agricultural waste, municipal solid waste, landfill gas, and the 14 million acres of forest that cover roughly one-third of the state.86,87 The amount of electricity generated from solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the state is increasing and has doubled since 2016. Most of the state's solar power comes from customer-sited, small-scale generating systems—many installed on rooftops at both businesses and homes.88,89,90

Missouri ranks third in the nation in biodiesel production capacity.

Missouri produces significant amounts of both fuel ethanol and biodiesel. The state has six manufacturing plants that use corn as the feedstock to produce ethanol. The ethanol plants have a production capacity of 297 million gallons per year.91,92,93 In 2018, Missouri ranked among the top one-third of states in ethanol consumption of 308 million gallons.94 The state has the third-largest biodiesel production capacity in the nation—247 million gallons annually at 9 biodiesel plants.95 The biodiesel plants use a variety of feedstocks, mostly soy oil or animal fats. Missouri's biodiesel consumption of almost 37 million gallons in 2018 was also among the top one-third of the states.96,97

Some of Missouri's large pig farms provide methane from manure lagoons that is converted into renewable natural gas, which is delivered by pipeline to cities and towns in the state.98,99

Missouri's forests and biomass resources also provide feedstock for the state's wood pellet industry. The state has four wood pellet manufacturing plants with a combined production capacity of about 165,000 tons per year.100 Wood pellets are used as fuel for generating electricity and for heating needs.101

In 2008, Missouri voters approved a mandatory renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to replace a voluntary goal. The RPS requires investor-owned electric utilities to meet 15% of their electricity sales with power generated from renewable sources by 2021. The standard also requires that solar power account for at least 0.3% of total retail electricity sales by 2021. State regulators have implemented cost caps to keep electricity retail rates from rising more than 1% in any year because of the mandate.102

Endnotes

1 WorldAtlas, Longest Rivers in the United States, accessed April 14, 2020.
2 Missouri Department of Economic Development, Why Missouri?, Missouri Transportation and Logistics Portal, accessed April 15, 2020.
3 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Crude Oil Production, Annual, View History, 1981-2019.
4 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Gross Withdrawals, Annual-Million Cubic Feet, 2014-19.
5 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.
6 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2018 (October 3, 2019), Table 15, Recoverable Coal Reserves at Producing Mines, Estimated Recoverable Reserves, and Demonstrated Reserve Base by Mining Method, 2018.
7 Christensen, Lawrence O., "Explore More with Facts for Now, Missouri," The New Book of Knowledge, accessed April 14, 2020.
8 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, Physiographic Regions of Missouri (2002).
9 U.S. EIA, U.S. Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity (August 26, 2019), Detailed nameplate capacity of fuel ethanol plants by Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD District) are available in XLS.
10 U.S. EIA, Monthly Biodiesel Production Report (March 31, 2020), Table 4, Biodiesel Producers and Production Capacity by State.
11 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. 306-311.
12 University of Missouri Extension, Woody Biomass for Energy in Missouri, accessed April 26, 2020.
13 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Wind Energy in Missouri, Maps & Data, accessed April 14, 2020.
14 Gramling, Carolyn, "New Map Fingers Future Hot Spots for U.S. Earthquakes," Science (July 17, 2014).
15 U.S. Geological Survey, The New Madrid Seismic Zone, accessed April 14, 2020.
16 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Backgrounder on Seismic Reviews at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants, updated June 13, 2018.
17 Decker, Wayne L., "Climate of Missouri," Missouri Climate Center, accessed April 14, 2020.
18 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table C13, Energy Consumption Estimates per Capita by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2017.
19 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table P3, Total Primary Energy Production and Total Energy Consumption Estimates in Trillion Btu, 2017.
20 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table C10, Energy Consumption Estimates by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2017.
21 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Data, GDP & Personal Income, Annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State, GDP in Current Dollars, Classification, NAICS, Missouri, All statistics in table, Area Missouri, 2017.
22 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Production, Monthly-Thousand Barrels and Annual-Thousand Barrels, Missouri, View History, 1981-2019.
23 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas in Missouri, Missouri Geological Survey fact sheet number 19 (November 2016).
24 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.
25 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 2017 Annual Report Oil and Gas Activities, Presentation, State Oil and Gas Council Meeting (April 18, 2018).
26 "Amoco to Close Third Refinery," The New York Times (March 4, 1982).
27 U.S. EIA, Number and Capacity of Petroleum Refineries, Total Number of Operable Refineries, Annual (as of January 1), 2014-19.
28 Pipeline 101, Where Are Liquids Pipelines Located? accessed April 15, 2020.
29 World Port Source, Port of Kansas City, accessed April 15, 2020.
30 Missouri Port Authorities, Port of Metropolitan St. Louis, accessed April 15, 2020.
31 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table C15, Petroleum Consumption, Total and per Capita, Ranked by State, 2017. comma
32 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table C2, Energy Consumption Estimates for Major Energy Sources in Physical Units, 2017.
33 Larson, B. K., U.S. Gasoline Requirements, ExxonMobil (January 2018).
34 U.S. Census Bureau, House Heating Fuel, Table B25040, 2018 ACS 1-Year Estimates Detailed Tables, Missouri.
35 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).
36 University of Missouri Extension, Corn and sorghum facts and figures, Top 10 U.S. states for corn production, accessed April 26, 2020.
37 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2018 (October 3, 2019), Table 6, Coal Production and Number of Mines by State and Coal Rank, 2018.
38 U.S. EIA, Energy Explained, Coal Explained, Types of Coal, Bituminous, accessed April 16, 2020.
39 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Distribution Report 2018 (October 3, 2019), Domestic distribution of U.S. coal by origin State, Missouri, Table OS-13, Domestic Coal Distribution, by Origin State, 2018.
40 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2018 (October 3, 2019), Table 15, Recoverable Coal Reserves at Producing Mines, Estimated Recoverable Reserves, and Demonstrated Reserve Base by Mining Method, 2018.
41 Griffin, Marshall, "Missouri may have issued its last coal mining permit," St. Louis Public Radio, accessed April 29, 2020.
42 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2018 (October 3, 2019), Table 1, Coal Production and Number of Mines by State and Mine Type, 2018 and 2017.
43 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Coal, p. 3-4, accessed April 16, 2020.
44 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2018 (October 3, 2019), Table 26, U.S. Coal Consumption by End Use Sector, Census Division, and State, 2018 and 2017.
45 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Distribution Report 2018 (October 3, 2019), Domestic distribution of U.S. coal by destination State, Missouri, Table DS-22, Domestic Coal Distribution, by Destination State, 2018.
46 U.S. EIA, U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2018, Table 10, Total natural gas proved reserves, reserves changes, and production, wet after lease separation, 2018.
47 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Gross Withdrawals, Annual-Million Cubic Feet, 2014-19.
48 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas in Missouri, Missouri Geological Survey fact sheet number 19 (November 2016).
49 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 2017 Annual Report Oil and Gas Activities, Presentation, State Oil and Gas Council Meeting (April 18, 2018).
50 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Coal, p. 3, accessed April 17, 2020.
51 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.
52 Pipeline 101, Natural Gas Pipelines Map, Region 6, accessed April 17, 2020.
53 Missouri Public Service Commission, Missouri Natural Gas Pipelines, updated January 29, 2013.
54 U.S. EIA, International and Interstate Movements of Natural Gas by State, Missouri, 2013-18.
55 Tallgrass Energy, Rockies Express Pipeline map (April 18, 2017).
56 Tallgrass Energy, Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), accessed April 17, 2020.
57 BusinessWire, "Tallgrass Energy and Rockies Express Pipeline Announce Completion of REX's Zone 3 Capacity Enhancement Project," Press Release (January 5, 2017).
58 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Number of Existing Fields, 2013-18.
59 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Storage Capacity, 2013-18.
60 U.S. EIA, Missouri State Profile and Energy Estimates, Profile Overview, Map, Layers/Legend: Natural Gas Underground Storage, accessed April 17, 2020.
61 U.S. Census Bureau, House Heating Fuel, Table B25040, 2018 ACS 1-Year Estimates Detailed Tables, Missouri.
62 U.S. EIA, Missouri Natural Gas Deliveries to Electric Power Consumers, 1997-2019.
63 U.S. EIA, Electricity, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (based on Form EIA-860M as a supplement to Form EIA-860), Inventory of Retired Generators as of February 2020, Missouri, Technology: Conventional Steam Coal.
64 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net generation for all sectors (thousand megawatthours), Missouri, 2016-19.
65 U.S. EIA, Missouri Electricity Profile 2016, Table 2A, Ten largest plants by capacity, 2018.
66 City Utilities of Springfield, MO, "James River Power Station Switches From Coal to Natural Gas," Press Release (October 8, 2015).
67 Barker, Jacob, "Ameren's Meramec Coal Plant Starts Using Natural Gas," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (April 20, 2016).
68 Uhlenhuth, Karen, "Small Missouri utility proposes big pivot to clean energy in latest resource plan," Energy News Network (July 29, 2019).
69 U.S. EIA, Electricity, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (based on Form EIA-860M as a supplement to Form EIA-860), Inventory of Retired Generators as of February 2020, Missouri, Technology: Conventional Steam Coal.
70 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net generation for all sectors (thousand megawatthours), Missouri, 2016-19.
71 U.S. EIA, Missouri Electricity Profile 2018, Table 10, Supply and disposition of electricity, Missouri.
72 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2020), Table 1.3.B.
73 Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Our Co-ops, accessed May 11, 2020.
74 Missouri Public Service Commission, Missouri Electric Service Areas (September 2008).
75 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Retail sales of electricity (million kilowatthours), Missouri, 2016-19.
76 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2020), Table 5.6.B.
77 U.S. Census Bureau, House Heating Fuel, Table B25040, 2018 ACS 1-Year Estimates Detailed Tables, Missouri.
78 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net generation for all sectors (thousand megawatthours), Missouri, 2016-19.
79 American Wind Energy Association, Wind Energy in Missouri, accessed April 20, 2020.
80 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Wind Energy in Missouri, Maps & Data, accessed April 20, 2020.
81 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.
82 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net generation for all sectors (thousand megawatthours), Missouri, 2016-19.
83 National Hydropower Association, Missouri, accessed April 20, 2020.
84 U.S. EIA, "Pumped storage provides grid reliability even with net generation loss," Today in Energy (July 8, 2013).
85 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net generation for all sectors (thousand megawatthours), Missouri, 2016-19.
86 Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Forest Facts, accessed April 21, 2020.
87 Missouri Department of Economic Development, Division of Energy, 2013 Missouri Energy Resource Assessment (June 2014) p. 27-48.
88 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net generation for all sectors (thousand megawatthours), Missouri, 2016-19.
89 Solar Energy Industries Association, State Solar Policy, Missouri Solar, accessed April 21, 2020.
90 Missouri Division of Energy, Solar Energy, accessed April 21, 2020.
91 U.S. EIA, U.S. Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity (August 26, 2019), Detailed nameplate capacity of fuel ethanol plants by Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD District) are available in XLS.
92 U.S. Ethanol Plants, Operational, Ethanol Producer Magazine (February 24, 2020).
93 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Energy, Biomass Industry, accessed April 26, 2020.
94 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table F25, Fuel ethanol consumption estimates, 2018.
95 U.S. EIA, Monthly Biodiesel Production Report (March 31, 2020), Table 4, Biodiesel Producers and Production Capacity by State.
96 U.S. Biodiesel Plants, Operational, Biodiesel Magazine (December 5, 2019).
97 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table F26, Biodiesel Consumption Estimates, 2018.
98 Gay, Bryce, "'Manure-to-energy' projects on Missouri pig farms attract fresh $45 million investment," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (February 20, 2020).
99 Shike, Jennifer, "Missouri Hog Farm Supplies Renewable Natural Gas to City of Milan," Farm Journal's Pork (August 12, 2019).
100 U.S. EIA, Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report (April 15, 2020), Table 1, Densified biomass fuel manufacturing facilities in the United States by state, region, and capacity, January 2020.
101 U.S. EIA, "New EIA survey collects data on production and sales of wood pellets," Today in Energy (December 14, 2016).
102 NC Clean Energy Technology Center, DSIRE, Missouri, Renewable Energy Standard, updated June 12, 2018.