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A Regional Overview of the Nation's Energy Resources



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.

46% of all us energy

America's Energy Hotspot

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.

Percentage of National Energy Production

  • Wyoming

    In 2011, Wyoming produced 40% of all coal mined in the United States

  • North Dakota

    Oil production in North Dakota increased 35%from 2010 to 2011

  • Colorado

    Colorado's vast fossil fuel resources include the Niobrara shale, which is estimated to contain as much as 2 billion barrels of oil

  • Texas

    Texas will always be known as an oil state, but it's also the national leader in wind power production


Energy Sooner than Later

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

Growing Needs


America consumed three times as much energy in 2011 as it did in 1949

By Sector

By Source

Getting Cleaner

Clean Energy

Clean energy consumption has increased almost six-fold since 1949

  • Nuclear Energy Consumption
    + ,
    from 1961 to 2011
  • Renewable Energy Production, 2011
    , ,
    1000 KWH of Electric Power

State of Reliance

Imports vs. Exports

As much as 23% of energy consumption relies on imported energy

  • 1.Dip in Imports Caused By1979 Energy Crisis
  • 2.Petroleum Accounts for86%of all us imported energy
  • 3.United States Imported3.5 Timesmore energy than it exported in 2011

Production vs. Consumption


Top 5
Power-Generating States

    Solar - National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1998-2009 | Biomass - National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2008 | Geothermal - National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2009 | Hydroelectric (alternative) - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Inventory of Dams, 2006 | Wind - National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2010 | Coal - U.S. Geological Survey, 2001 | Oil and Gas - U.S. Geological Survey, 2005 | Nuclear - Nuclear Research Council, 2013 | Alaska Specific Resources: Coal - U.S. Geological Survey, 2004; Oil and Gas - Alaska Department of Natural Resources, 2012; Geothermal - Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, 2003; Trans-Alaska Pipeline -, sponsored by National Renewable Energy Laboratory