Delaware state Energy Profile
RESOURCES AND CONSUMPTION
Delaware has few energy resources aside from wind power potential, which is located onshore and offshore along the Atlantic Coast and in the Delaware Bay. Delaware’s population and total energy consumption are among the lowest in the nation. The state’s largest consumer of energy is the industrial sector, in part because of several energy-intensive industries, including petroleum refining, chemical production, and other manufacturing. Despite these industries, however, Delaware’s overall energy intensity is among the lowest in the nation.
Delaware has a single medium-sized refinery in Delaware City. Since the state has no crude oil production, the refinery relies on crude oil supplies delivered via the Delaware River. The Delaware City refinery supplies petroleum products to regional markets. Additional petroleum products are supplied to Delaware via shipments received at ports in the Wilmington area and along the Delaware River. Delaware requires the use of reformulated motor gasoline blended with ethanol throughout the state. About one-fifth of Delaware households use fuel oil as their primary energy source for home heating.
Delaware produces no natural gas and its total natural gas consumption is low. Eastern Shore Natural Gas is the predominant of the two interstate natural gas pipeline systems that supply the state. Delaware’s industry and electricity generating facilities are the largest consumers of natural gas in the state, followed closely by the residential sector. More than one-third of Delaware households use natural gas for home heating.
COAL, ELECTRICITY, AND RENEWABLES
Delaware’s electricity generation capacity is among the lowest in the nation. In recent years, coal-fired power plants have accounted for about three-fifths of electricity generation within the state, natural gas-fired plants have accounted for about one-fifth, and petroleum-fired plants have accounted for about one-tenth. Delaware receives its coal supplies primarily by rail from West Virginia, Kentucky, Colorado, and Virginia. More than one-fourth of Delaware households use electricity as their primary energy source for home heating.
Delaware currently produces minimal renewable energy, but plans to increase renewable energy generation are in development. In May 2009, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved Bluewater Wind to build two meteorological towers off the coasts of New Jersey and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, that will allow the company to map weather patterns for determining the location of an offshore wind farm. In July 2007, Delaware expanded its renewable portfolio standard to require that 2 percent of the state’s electricity be generated from solar photovoltaic sources in addition to 18 percent from other renewable sources by 2019.