‹ U.S. States

Ohio   Ohio Profile

State Profile and Energy Estimates

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

Last Updated: May 18, 2017

Overview

Ohio, named after the river that forms its southern boundary, is a Great Lakes state bordered on the north by 312 miles of Lake Erie shoreline.1 Lake Erie influences Ohio's weather and provides an important offshore wind energy resource. Prevailing winds that blow across the state from the southwest deliver wind resources as well.2,3,4 The hills and valleys of the Appalachian Plateau, part of the larger Appalachian Basin, cover the eastern half of Ohio and contain most of the state's fossil fuel resources. Ohio's coal resources and most of the state's many natural gas and crude oil fields are located there. Several oil fields lie further to the west in a belt that crosses northwestern Ohio.5,6,7 Western Ohio's rolling plains, which have some of the most fertile farmland in the nation, mark the beginning of the nation's Corn Belt, which extends westward across the Midwest.8 Corn and soybeans are the state's leading crops, and corn is used as feedstock at most of Ohio's ethanol plants.9,10 The state also has nuclear energy resources with two nuclear power plants located along Lake Erie.11

With its large population, heavily industrial economy, and variable climate, Ohio is among the top 10 states in total energy consumption.12,13,14 But, despite Ohio's strong industrial base, per capita energy consumption in the state is less than in about two-fifths of the states.15 End-use energy consumption is greatest in Ohio's industrial sector.16 The state's primary economic activities are in the financial and manufacturing sectors. A significant amount of Ohio's manufacturing is related to petroleum, coal, and chemical products. Motor vehicles and transportation equipment; food, beverage, and tobacco products; fabricated metals; and machinery production also make substantial contributions to the state's gross domestic product.17

Petroleum

Ohio's proved reserves are modest, but, among the states in the Appalachian basin, are second only to Alabama. The state's proved crude oil reserves have increased in recent years with increased drilling in the Marcellus and Utica/Point Pleasant shale formations.18,19 In 2014, reserves estimates reached a high of 78 million barrels, the highest level in 30 years.20

Ohio's crude oil production is also modest, although Ohio is first in production among the Appalachian basin states.21 For most of the past almost 30 years, Ohio's crude oil production was less than 10 million barrels annually.22 In 2015, however, horizontal drilling in the Marcellus and Utica/Point Pleasant shale formations resulted in a record high of almost 26 million barrels. In 2016, annual production remained high at about 22 million barrels. Despite the increases, Ohio's crude oil production remains below 1% of the nation's total.23,24,25

Ohio is among the top 10 oil-refining states in the nation.

Ohio is consistently among the top 10 oil-refining states in the nation.26 The state's four refineries have a combined capacity of about 558,000 barrels of crude oil per calendar day.27 Collectively, they can process a wide variety of crude oils from light, sweet crudes to heavy, sour ones. The crude oils come from Canada, the Midcontinent region, North Dakota, the Appalachian Basin, and the U.S. Gulf Coast. Among the finished products Ohio's refineries produce are transportation fuels, including motor gasoline, jet fuel, and ultra-low sulfur diesel.28,29,30 Several petroleum product pipelines connect the state's refineries to markets in Ohio and adjacent states and to petroleum product port facilities on Lake Erie.31,32

Total petroleum demand in Ohio far exceeds the state's production, and the state is among the top 10 petroleum-consuming states in the nation. Most of the petroleum consumed in Ohio is used as transportation fuels, either as motor gasoline or diesel fuel.33,34,35 Conventional motor gasoline can be sold throughout most of the state, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires motor gasoline to be formulated to reduce emissions that contribute to ozone formation in the summer months in the eight counties in southwestern Ohio surrounding Cincinnati and Dayton.36 Ohio has substantial ethanol production capacity, and the additive is blended into most of the state's motor gasoline.37 Fewer than 1 in 13 Ohio households heat with petroleum products.38

Natural gas

Ohio's natural gas reserves and production have increased substantially in recent years.39 Ohio was one of two states with the largest annual natural gas production increase from 2015 to 2016, reflecting higher production from the Utica and Marcellus shales.40 In 2016, natural gas production in Ohio was more than 18 times greater than in 2011, rising from less than 0.3% of the nation's total to nearly 4.5% of the total. Almost two-thirds of gross withdrawals were from shale gas wells.41,42 Much of the additional natural gas production is from the Utica-Point Pleasant Shale play, and some is from the Marcellus Shale.43 Ohio's marketed natural gas production equaled state demand for the first time in 2015. Production has increased significantly in the one year since then while consumption has not.44,45

Several interstate natural gas pipelines cross Ohio.46 The 2009 extension of the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) to Clarington, Ohio, near the border with West Virginia, led to the formation of new natural gas trading points in the state.47 In August 2015, the eastern section of the REX became bidirectional, allowing delivery of natural gas from the Appalachian Basin to the Midwest, as well as delivery of Rocky Mountain natural gas to the East.48,49 Since 2015, the state has produced more natural gas than it consumes, and the natural gas leaving Ohio is sent on to Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana.50,51,52 To meet peak demand in winter, Ohio withdraws natural gas from storage.53 The state has 24 natural gas storage fields; all are in depleted oil and natural gas reservoirs. Those fields have a combined total storage capacity of almost 576 billion cubic feet, about 6% of the nation's total.54,55

Ohio is among the top 10 natural gas-consuming states.56 The residential and industrial sectors are the state's largest natural gas consumers, followed by the electric power sector. Natural gas use for electric power generation in Ohio has increased markedly in recent years as domestic natural gas production in the region has increased, bringing prices down.57,58 Much of the increase in production comes from the Utica Shale in Ohio and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.59 Two-thirds of Ohio households use natural gas for home heating.60

Coal

Ohio is the 12th-largest coal-producing state.

Bituminous coal is one of Ohio's primary fossil fuel resources. The state is the 12th-largest coal-producing state in the nation and is the 6th-largest producer of bituminous coal. Although more than half of Ohio's mining operations are surface mines, most of Ohio's coal comes from the state's underground mines.61,62 The state has 1.3% of the nation's recoverable coal at producing mines.63 About three-tenths of the coal mined in Ohio is shipped out to other states by barge, truck, and rail.64 Coal from Ohio and other states is shipped from the state's ports along Lake Erie and on the Ohio River. The state's largest ports are at Cleveland and Toledo.65 Cleveland is a leading Great Lakes export point for coal.66 Coal is transferred from rail to vessels at Toledo and shipped from there throughout the Great Lakes region and overseas.67 Coal is also shipped from Cincinnati, Ohio, on the Ohio River.68

Ohio is among the top five coal-consuming states in the nation (third in 2014) along with Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.69 Twice as much coal is consumed in Ohio as is produced there.70,71 To meet the state's needs, coal is brought in from several surrounding states by barge, rail, and truck. Coal arrives primarily from West Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. Lesser amounts come from several other states, including from as far away as Wyoming.72 Almost seven-eighths of the coal consumed in Ohio is used for electric power generation.73

Electricity

The primary fuel for electricity generation in Ohio is coal. Eight of Ohio's 10 largest power plants by capacity are coal-fired, although only 6 are among the 10 largest by generation.74 In recent years, coal's share of generation and the number of coal-fired power plants in the state has decreased. In 2015, 15% of the state's coal-fired generation capacity was retired. However, in 2016, coal still fueled almost three-fifths of the state's power generation.75,76 Even though natural gas-fired generation has increased greatly since 2008, it accounted for less than one-fourth of the state's net generation in 2016.77,78 Ohio's two nuclear power plants, located along Lake Erie, supply about one-seventh of the state's net generation.79,80 Renewable energy resources, petroleum coke, gases derived from fossil fuels, and petroleum are used to produce almost all the remainder of Ohio's net generation.81

Ohio is among the top 10 electric power generators in the nation and among the top 5 states in retail sales. The residential sector accounts for the greatest share of retail sales of electricity in Ohio.82 About two in nine Ohio households rely on electricity as their primary source of energy for home heating.83 Because net generation does not meet state demand, Ohio is a net recipient of electricity from outside of the state.84

Ohio is part of an electric power grid that services all or part of 12 states between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean.85 In August 2003, a transmission failure in northeastern Ohio led to the largest blackout to date in North America, affecting more than 50 million people in the northeastern United States and Canada for up to two days.86 It took only nine seconds for the grid to collapse.87 A U.S.-Canadian joint task force investigated the causes of the blackout and a number of task force recommendations were incorporated into federal laws that established standards for electricity reliability nationwide.88

Renewable energy

Ohio is exploring offshore wind power development in Lake Erie.

Renewable energy resources, including hydroelectric power, supply slightly more than 2% of Ohio's net electricity generation.89 Wind provides the largest share, and net generation from wind in the state has increased substantially since construction of Ohio's first utility-scale wind farm was completed in Bowling Green in 2004. That wind farm's four turbines generate up to 7.2 megawatts of power.90 By 2016, Ohio had 34 projects online, and by the fourth quarter of 2016, Ohio had 545 megawatts of installed wind capacity online and more than 100 megawatts of capacity under construction.91,92 The 304-megawatt Blue Creek Wind Farm, with 152 2-megawatt turbines, became the state's largest wind farm when it was completed in 2012.93 Offshore wind-powered generation in Lake Erie is planned, and a demonstration project called Icebreaker is in development in Lake Erie northwest of Cleveland.94,95

Biomass from wood and wood waste, municipal solid waste, landfill gas, and biodigesters has contributed to Ohio's net electricity generation for some time. There are 19 utility-scale power plants fueled by landfill gas or biomass in Ohio.96 The state also has two wood pellet manufacturers that produce a combined total of 115,000 short tons of pellets per year, some of which are used for power generation and heating.97 In 2016, solar photovoltaic (PV) generation contributed almost one-tenth of Ohio's nonhydroelectric renewable generation. More than half of that was distributed (small-scale, customer-sited) generation.98 However, Ohio has more than a dozen utility-scale solar PV power plants. The two largest solar facilities in the state are the Wyandot Solar Farm and the Napoleon Solar Project, both located in the northwestern part of the state.99

Ohio is the eighth-largest ethanol-producing state in the nation.100 All but one of the state's eight operational ethanol plants use corn as a feedstock. The remaining plant uses waste industrial alcohol.101 Ohio's ethanol plants produce more than 550 million gallons of ethanol per year, and state fuel ethanol consumption is about 480 million gallons per year.102 Ohio also has two operational biodiesel plants that process soy oil into biofuels. Those plants have a combined capacity of about 65 million gallons per year.103

Ohio has both an alternative energy portfolio standard (AEPS) and an energy efficiency portfolio standard (EEPS). The AEPS requires that the state's investor-owned utilities and retail electricity providers—except municipal utilities and electric cooperatives—obtain 12.5% of their retail electricity sales from alternative energy resources by the end of 2026. The AEPS includes a solar energy requirement.104 Ohio's EEPS requires that utilities put in place energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs that achieve a 7.75% reduction in peak demand by 2020 and cumulative energy savings of 22% by 2027.105

Endnotes

1 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Lake Erie Facts, updated November 18, 2016.
2 Ohio State University Department of Geography, Climate of Ohio, accessed April 11, 2017.
3 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Ohio Offshore 90-Meter Wind Map and Wind Resource Potential, updated June 13, 2014.
4 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Ohio Wind Resource Map and Potential Wind Capacity, updated September 24, 2015.
5 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Physiographic Regions of Ohio (April 1998).
6 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Oil and Gas Fields Map of Ohio (2014).
7 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Ohio Profile Overview, Map Layers, All Coal Mines, accessed April 11, 2017.
8 NETSTATE, Ohio, The Geography of Ohio, updated February 25, 2016.
9 U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Farm Income and Wealth Statistics, Ohio, 2015.
10 Ethanol Producer Magazine, U.S. Ethanol Plants, updated January 23, 2016.
11 U.S. EIA, Ohio Profile Overview, Nuclear Power Plant Map Layer, accessed April 12, 2017.
12 U.S. Census Bureau, State Population by Characteristics Tables: 2010-2016, Estimates of the Total Resident Population and Resident Population Age 18 Years and Older for the United States, States, and Puerto Rico: July 1, 2016.
13 Ohio State University Department of Geography, Climate of Ohio, accessed April 11, 2017.
14 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.
15 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.
16 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Ohio Tables CT4, CT5, CT6, CT7, CT8.
17 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Interactive Data, GDP and Personal Income, Regional Data, Annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State, GDP in Current Dollars, All Industries, Ohio, 2014.
18 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Shale Well Drilling and Permitting, Shale Development and Activity, accessed May 10, 2017.
19 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Proved Reserves, Reserves Changes, and Production, Proved Reserves as of December 31, 2011-15, accessed May 10, 2017.
20 U.S. EIA, Ohio Crude Oil Proved Reserves, 1986-2015, accessed April 13, 2017.
21 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Production, Annual, 2016, accessed April 13, 2017.
22 U.S. EIA, Ohio Field Production of Crude Oil, 1981-2016, accessed April 13, 2017.
23 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Production, Annual, 2011-16, accessed April 13, 2017.
24 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, "Ohio's Oil and Natural Gas Production Continues Upward Trend in Fourth Quarter," Press Release (March 9, 2016).
25 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Well Production, 2016 Quarterly Horizontal Shale Production, accessed April 27, 2017.
26 U.S. EIA, Number and Capacity of Petroleum Refineries, Atmospheric Distillation Operable Capacity, 2016, accessed April 13, 2017.
27 U.S. EIA, Number and Capacity of Petroleum Refineries, Total Number of Operable Refineries, 2016, accessed April 13, 2017.
28 Husky Energy, U.S. Refineries, Lima Refinery, Toledo Refinery, accessed April 13, 2017.
29 PBF Energy, Refineries, Toledo Ohio, accessed April 13, 2017.
30 Marathon Petroleum, Ohio Refining Division, accessed April 13, 2017.
31 U.S. EIA, Ohio Profile Data, Distribution and Marketing, accessed April 13, 2017.
32 Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, Terminals and Commodities, Tour the Port, Petroleum, accessed April 13, 2017.
33 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Production, Annual, accessed April 13, 2017.
34 U.S. EIA, State Energy Data System, Table F15, Total Petroleum Consumption Estimates, 2015.
35 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C3, Primary Energy Consumption Estimates, 2014.
36 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gasoline Standards, Gasoline Reid Vapor Pressure, accessed April 13, 2017.
37 U.S. EIA, Ohio Profile Data, Environment, accessed April 13, 2017.
38 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Ohio, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
39 U.S. EIA, Dry Natural Gas Proved Reserves, accessed April 13, 2017.
40 U.S. EIA, "Ohio and Pennsylvania increased natural gas production more than other states in 2016," Today in Energy (April 25, 2017).
41 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Gross Withdrawals, Annual, 2011-16 accessed April 13, 2017.
42 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Gross Withdrawals from Shale Gas Wells, Annual, accessed April 13, 2017.
43 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources, Shale Well Drilling and Permitting, Activity, through March 8, 2017, accessed April 13, 2017.
44 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Consumption by End Use, Ohio, Annual, accessed April 13, 2017.
45 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Marketed Production, Annual, accessed April 13, 2017.
46 U.S. EIA, Ohio Profile Data, Distribution and Marketing, accessed April 14, 2017.
47 U.S. EIA, "Market changes contribute to growing Marcellus area spot natural gas trading," Today in Energy (December 15, 2011).
48 U.S. EIA, "Ohio's Utica Region now included in EIA's monthly Drilling Productivity Report," Today in Energy (August 12, 2014).
49 Waite, Warren, "Rockies Express-The Aorta of the Central U.S.," PointLogic Energy (October 1, 2015).
50 U.S. EIA, International and Interstate Movements of Natural Gas by State, Ohio, accessed April 14, 2017.
51 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Marketed Production, Annual, 2011-16.
52 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Consumption by End Use, Ohio, Annual, 2011-16.
53 U.S. EIA, Ohio Natural Gas Underground Storage Withdrawals, Monthly, 1990-2016, accessed April 14, 2017.
54 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Number of Existing Fields, Number of Depleted Fields, 2015, accessed April 14, 2017.
55 U.S. EIA, Underground Natural Gas Storage Capacity, Total Storage Capacity, accessed April 14, 2017.
56 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C3, Primary Energy Consumption Estimates, 2014.
57 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Consumption by End Use, Ohio, Annual, accessed April 14, 2017.
58 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Prices, Ohio, Annual, accessed April 14, 2017.
59 U.S. EIA, Drilling Productivity Report (March 2017), p. 6, 9.
60 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Ohio, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
61 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2015 (November 2016), Table 1, Coal Production and Number of Mines by State and Mine Type, 2015 and 2014.
62 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2015 (November 2016), Table 6, Coal Production and Number of Mines by State and Coal Rank, 2015.
63 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2015 (November 2016), Table 14, Recoverable Coal Reserves and Average Recovery Percentage at Producing Mines by State, 2015 and 2014.
64 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Distribution Report 2015 (November 2016), Ohio, Table OS-19, Domestic Coal Distribution, by Origin State, 2015.
65 World Port Source, Ohio, Satellite Map of Ports, accessed April 15, 2017.
66 U.S. EIA, Quarterly Coal Report, July-September 2016 (February 2017), Table 13, U.S. Coal Exports by Customs District.
67 World Port Source, Port of Toledo, Port Commerce, accessed April 15, 2017.
68 World Port Source, Port of Cincinnati, Port Commerce, accessed April 15, 2017.
69 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2014, DOE/EIA-0214(2014) (June 2016), Table C3, Primary Energy Consumption Estimates, 2014.
70 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2015 (November 2016), Table 26, U.S. Coal Consumption by End Use Sector, Census Division, and State, 2015 and 2014.
71 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2015 (November 2016), Table 1, Coal Production and Number of Mines by State and Mine Type, 2015 and 2014.
72 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Distribution Report 2015 (November 2016), Ohio, Table DS-34, Domestic Coal Distribution by Destination State, 2015.
73 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2015 (November 2016), Table 26, U.S. Coal Consumption by End Use Sector, Census Division, and State, 2015 and 2014.
74 U.S. EIA, Ohio Electricity Profile 2015, Tables 2A, 2B.
75 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 1.4.B.
76 U.S. EIA, "Coal made up more than 80% of retired electricity generating capacity in 2015," Today in Energy (March 8, 2016).
77 U.S. EIA, Ohio Natural Gas Deliveries to Electric Power Consumers, accessed April 15, 2017.
78 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 1.7.B.
79 U.S. EIA, Ohio Nuclear Profile 2010, accessed April 15, 2017.
80 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 1.9.B.
81 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 1.5.B, 1.6.B, 1.8.B, 1.10.B, 1.11.B.
82 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 5.4.B.
83 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Ohio, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate.
84 U.S. EIA, Ohio Electricity Profile 2015, Table 10, Supply and disposition of electricity, 1990 through 2015.
85 PJM Interconnection, Territory Served, accessed April 17, 2017.
86 Minkel, J. R., "The 2003 Northeast Blackout Five Years Later," Scientific American (August 13, 2008).
87 "Blackout by the numbers," CBC News Online (August 15, 2003, updated November 14, 2003).
88 U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, "10 Years after the 2003 Northeast Blackout" (August 14, 2013).
89 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.3.B, 1.10.B, 1.11.B, 1.14.B.
90 American Municipal Power, Inc., Wind Power, accessed April 17, 2017.
91 American Wind Energy Association, Ohio Wind Energy, accessed April 17, 2017.
92 American Wind Energy Association, U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2016 Market Report (January 26, 2017), p. 6, 11.
93 Iberdrola Renewables, Blue Creek Wind Farm, accessed April 17, 2017.
94 Krouse, Peter, "A close-up look at Lake Erie's wind-energy project (video): Impact 2016: The path to green energy," Cleveland.com (September 20, 2016).
95 Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, Icebreaker, Vision and Timeline, accessed April 17, 2017.
96 U.S. EIA, Electricity, 2015 Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, 'Generator Data' (Operable Units Only), accessed April 17, 2017.
97 Biomass Magazine, Pellet Plants, updated January 25, 2017.
98 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2017), Tables 1.10.B, 1.11.B, 1.17.B.
99 U.S. EIA, Electricity, 2015 Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, 'Generator Data' (Operable Units Only), accessed April 17, 2017.
100 Nebraska Energy Office, Ethanol Facilities' Capacity by State, updated October 20, 2016.
101 Ethanol Producer Magazine, U.S. Ethanol Plants, updated February 14, 2017.
102 U.S. EIA, Ohio Profile Data, Environment, accessed April 17, 2017.
103 Biodiesel Magazine, USA Plants, updated December 12, 2016.
104 NC Clean Technology Center, DSIRE, Ohio Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, updated February 7, 2017.
105 NC Clean Technology Center, DSIRE, Ohio Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, updated October 6, 2016.