The United States covers 3.79 million square miles and contains 316 million people, making it one of the largest, most populated countries in the world. Our expanding energy needs are well known to policymakers and business leaders alike. This map provides a broad overview of our country's energy potential by charting current sources of energy production and identifying future resources and known deposits.
Data shown on the map come from a range of government sources. For solar energy, the map shows areas in the top 20% of potential photovoltaic energy output per square meter per day. Biomass on the map shows counties in the continental U.S. that were in the top 20% of potential tons of biomass output per square kilometer per year. For the continental U.S., the geothermal category shows areas judged as most favorable for Deep Enhanced Geothermal Systems by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; in Alaska, the distribution of geothermal energy comes from a report by the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. Wind resources on the map show areas that the NREL judged most favorable for energy production as measured by mean annual wind speeds. Coal distributions reflect areas of known mineable coal deposits recorded by the USGS, while oil and gas distributions show areas known to contain productive wells. Nuclear data reflects the locations of U.S. nuclear power plants as tracked by the Nuclear Research Council. Hydroelectric resources on the map show the locations of major existing hydroelectric dams as defined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The population center of the United States is slowly edging westward away from the Midwest and toward the nexus of the Great Plains, Southwest and Mountain West. This region is extremely energy rich, producing 46% of all U.S. energy, including two-thirds of our total natural gas and nearly one-third of our renewable energy. This energy boom is transforming the region's economy, increasing the existing migration trend and driving our national energy policy.
In 2011, Wyoming produced 40% of all coal mined in the United States
Oil production in North Dakota increased 35%from 2010 to 2011
Colorado's vast fossil fuel resources include the Niobrara shale, which is estimated to contain as much as 2 billion barrels of oil
Texas will always be known as an oil state, but it's also the national leader in wind power production
In 2011, Oklahoma was the nation's fifth largest producer of crude oil, excluding Federal offshore areas
Oklahoma's five petroleum refineries have a combined daily capacity of over 500,000 barrels per day: 3% of U.S. operating distillation capacity
Oklahoma is a leading producer of natural gas, accounting for 6.8% of U.S. gross production in 2010
In 2011, Oklahoma ranked seventh in net electricity generation from wind
America consumed three times as much energy in 2011 as it did in 1949
Clean energy consumption has increased almost six-fold since 1949
As much as 23% of energy consumption relies on imported energy