Energy Conservation
Key Issues:Energy in North Dakota
Energy in North Dakota

Following is an overview of North Dakota's consumption and production of transportation fuels, electricity, and heating fuels, as well as the mandates and initiatives that affect the state's energy supply and economy.
Transportation fuels (gasoline and diesel fuel)
According to the Energy Information Agency, North Dakotans consumed 374 million gallons of gasoline in 2009 and 504 million gallons of diesel fuel in 2008. The state has a small refinery near Bismarck, which produces transportation fuels mainly for Minnesota and the Great Plains states. A second oil refinery has been proposed on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota.

Gasoline and diesel fuel come from crude oil. North Dakota is the fourth-largest oil-producing state in the nation (behind Texas, Alaska and California), and accounts for about 2% of the country's total crude oil production. The state has more than 165 active drilling rigs.

There are six ethanol plants in North Dakota, four of which are active. The four operational plants have a production capacity of 123 million gallons of ethanol a year. North Dakota is one of the few states that allow conventional motor gasoline to be used statewide (compared to most states that require gasoline to be blended with biofuels, such as ethanol). There are also three biodiesel plants in North Dakota with a production capacity of 117 million gallons a year.
North Dakota is home for four ethanol plants, one biodiesel plant, and one oil refinery.
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Electricity
The majority of North Dakota's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants. Most of the coal used in the state comes from large surface mines found in central North Dakota. Nearly one-half of the state's total energy consumption comes from industries. Most of the state's renewable energy comes from hydroelectric dams. The state also has 20 wind power projects with plans for further development. The state has no nuclear plants.
Coal
Renewables
Oil
Natural gas
93%
6%
0.5%
0.5%
Source: www.americaspower.org
Heating fuels
More than two-fifths of North Dakota households use natural gas as their main source of heating fuel. The state produces about 1% of the country's annual natural gas production. Natural gas also comes to North Dakota via pipelines from Montana and western Canada. North Dakota is one of only three states to produce synthetic natural gas.
Natural gas
Electricity
Propane
Fuel oil
Other
43%
29%
16%
9%
3%
Source: U.S. Department of Energy,
2000 Census data
North Dakota's existing energy mandates
Lignite Vision 21 Program
In 1987, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) was created by an executive order. Since then, the NDIC has developed the Lignite Vision 21 Program to create new lignite energy conversion facilities. Lignite is a soft, brownish-blackish coal that is used in North Dakota for electricity, synthetic natural gas generation, and fertilizer production. The state has provided more than $36 million to the NDIC for the Lignite Vision 21 Program, which offers funding for grants, feasibility studies, and tax incentives.
Ethanol production incentive
In 2002, Governor John Hoeven proposed a program to provide incentive funding for new ethanol plants built in North Dakota. The state's Legislative Assembly passed a bill to include the incentive program as part of the North Dakota Century Code. The program helps ethanol producers remain competitive during adverse times, such as when corn prices are unusually high.
Biofuels Blender Pump Program
The North Dakota Legislative Assembly passed a bill in 2009 to provide funding for a biofuels blender program to help retailers install blender pumps, which allow consumers to select how much ethanol and gasoline amounts to blend.

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