South Dakota Energy Profile
RESOURCES AND CONSUMPTION
South Dakota has few fossil fuel reserves but has substantial renewable energy potential. Small crude oil and natural gas reserves are concentrated in the western corners of the state. South Dakota’s renewable energy potential includes flat open areas for wind power, the Missouri River for hydroelectric power, corn produced in the eastern part of the state for ethanol production, and geothermal resources located in the south-central part of the state. As one of the least-populated states, South Dakota has low energy demand.
South Dakota has minimal crude oil production and no refineries. Several petroleum product and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pipelines supply South Dakota from neighboring states. Over two-tenths of South Dakota households use LPG as their primary fuel for home heating. South Dakota is one of the few states in the nation that allow the statewide use of conventional motor gasoline. (Most states require the use of specific gasoline blends in non-attainment areas due to air-quality considerations.) As a leading corn producer, South Dakota is one of the nation’s leading producers of ethanol, which is currently produced at several large plants in the eastern part of the state. Additional ethanol plants are under construction.
South Dakota’s natural gas consumption is very low. The state is supplied via pipelines from producers in Canada and Texas and ships over 90 percent of the natural gas it receives to Minnesota on the way to other Midwest markets. Nearly one-half of South Dakota households use natural gas as their primary fuel for home heating.
COAL, ELECTRICITY, AND RENEWABLES
Electricity in South Dakota is generated primarily by hydroelectric and coal-fired power plants. Hydroelectric power typically supplies about one-half of the electricity consumed in the state, and three of the state’s five largest electricity generation plants are hydroelectric. South Dakota relies on shipments of coal from Wyoming to meet its coal demand. The majority of the state’s nonhydroelectric and non-coal electricity is generated from natural gas and wind. Per capita electricity use in South Dakota is near the average for the United States, and about two-tenths of the state’s households use electricity as their primary energy source for home heating.
South Dakota offers incentives, such as property tax exemptions, to encourage expansion of renewable sources for electricity generation within the state. In February 2008, South Dakota adopted a voluntary renewable Portfolio objective that aims to have 10 percent of all electricity generation come from renewable sources by 2015.