Michigan is consistently one of the top energy consumers in the United States because of it’s population (8th largest in the country), climate, and industry-based economy.
According to the Energy Information Administration, natural gas is the most consumed energy source in Michigan, with 758.7 trillion btus of natural gas consumed in 2010 (or nearly 30 percent of all energy consumption). Coal contributed more than 25 percent to the state’s overall energy consumption, which can be attributed to the high level of industry and manufacturing, especially within Michigan’s southwest region. The use of electric energy and biomass increased the most from previous years.
Energy use in the residential, commercial, and transportation sectors in Michigan have changed consistently and evenly over the last 50 years. The industrial sector, meanwhile, has leveled off. As Michigan continues to move away from an industry-based economy, the industrial sector of energy use is predicted to continue decreasing in the coming years while the others – especially transportation – continue to increase. Transportation is above the other sectors and has risen at the fastest rate, with just more than 27 quadrillion btus consumed in 2008. This translates to about 4.6 billion gallons of gasoline and $13 billion spent. The total amount spent on energy in Michigan in 2009 was $31.3 billion, down from the $37 billion spent in 2007 (this decrease is shown in the chart above). Currently, Michigan is ranked eighth in commercial, residential and industrial energy consumption and tenth in transportation energy consumption.
The amount of energy that Michigan produces is quite low compared to the amount it uses. Michigan continues to rely heavily on coal for the majority of its energy; however, because Michigan does not have any coal reserves, it must import from other states. Considering that nearly 67 percent of Michigan’s energy comes from, that’s a lot to make up for. In 2010, the state produced over 150 trillion btus of natural gas, which made up about 8 percent of energy. Michigan’s three nuclear power plants also created about 21 percent of the state’s energy, while crude oil, biofuels, and other renewable energy sources made up the rest.