Nebraska State Energy Profile
RESOURCES AND CONSUMPTION
Nebraska has small oil reserves concentrated in the Denver and Anadarko basins in the western part of the state. The north-central and southwestern parts of the state have wind power potential. Nebraska's high-yield corn crop allows the state to be among the leading producers of ethanol in the nation. Nebraska’s total energy consumption is low, commensurate with the state’s population. While the industrial sector leads state energy demand, the transportation and residential sectors are also important energy consumers.
Nebraska has minor crude oil production. The Platte crude oil pipeline from Wyoming passes though southern Nebraska on its way to larger markets in the U.S. Midwest. A network of petroleum product pipelines connects Nebraska markets to refining centers in nearby states. A 2,148 mile pipeline is currently under construction and once completed in 2010, will transport crude oil from Alberta, Canada through eastern Nebraska to other Midwest markets.
A national leader in corn production, Nebraska is also among the nation’s top producers of corn-based ethanol, and numerous ethanol plants are concentrated in the central and eastern parts of the state. The state is considering the use of other feedstocks, including soybean or other vegetable oils, in the expansion of its biofuels program. The state recently opened its first biodiesel facility, with the capacity to produce 5 million gallons of biodiesel per year by refining crude soybean oil. The state's ethanol production is largely for use in other states, as Nebraska is one of the few states in the country that allow the statewide use of conventional motor gasoline. (Most states require the use of specific gasoline blends in non-attainment areas to preserve air quality.)
Nebraska’s consumption of natural gas is low, and the state relies on interstate transfers to meet virtually all of that demand. Natural gas is supplied from Rocky Mountain-, Texas-, and Oklahoma panhandle-area producers via pipelines entering the state via Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. Nebraska ships over three-fifths of the natural gas it receives to Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota. The industrial sector is the state’s leading consumer, followed by the residential sector. Over two-thirds of Nebraska households use natural gas as their primary fuel for home heating.
COAL, ELECTRICITY, AND RENEWABLES
Coal-fired power plants supply two-thirds of Nebraska’s electricity generation market, nuclear power supplies just under three-tenths, and hydroelectric power supplies most of the remainder. Nebraska receives virtually all of its coal by rail from Wyoming. Nebraska’s two nuclear power plants are located along the Missouri River on the state’s eastern border. Nebraska also has several small hydroelectric dams along the Platte River and produces a minor amount of energy from wind power.