Missouri, near the geographic center of the Lower 48 states, is a national transportation hub for rail, river, road, and air shipments.

Missouri is a transportation hub for the nation, located near the geographic center of the Lower 48 states at the junction of the nation’s two largest rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri. The state’s infrastructure and location give shippers the ability to move raw materials and finished products by rail, river, road, and air to destinations across the country. Missouri has little fossil fuel production, but it does have fossil fuel resources, including tar sands, coalbed methane, and oil shales. The rich soils of the plains and rolling hills north of the Missouri River and those of the southeastern lowlands form the state’s fertile agricultural regions. Missouri’s corn and soybean crops are feedstocks for the state’s biofuels industry. South of the Missouri River, the heavily forested Ozark Plateau has abundant biomass resource potential, and the open prairies of northern and western Missouri have the state’s best wind resources. Three of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history were centered in southeastern Missouri. The potential for further tremors in that geologically active part of the state is taken into consideration in siting nuclear power plants throughout the Midwest.

Missouri has a moderate climate, and extended periods of very cold or very hot weather are uncommon. The state’s energy consumption per capita is at the national median. The residential and the transportation sectors each account for about three-tenths of the energy consumed by end-use sectors in Missouri. The industrial sector, which includes agriculture and the manufacture of food products, chemicals, and transportation equipment, accounts for one-fifth of the state’s total energy consumption.

Renewable Energy

Quick Facts

  • The Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), originally built to supply western natural gas to the East Coast, is now bidirectional between its Missouri hub and Ohio and can deliver natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shales to the Midwest.
  • Missouri was the first state west of the Mississippi River to produce coal commercially.
  • Coal fueled 83% of Missouri’s net electricity generation in 2014, 78% in 2015, and 77% in 2016.
  • Missouri’s one nuclear power plant, Callaway Nuclear Generating Station, contributed 12% of the state’s net electricity generation in 2016.
  • Renewable energy resources accounted for 3.4% of Missouri’s net electricity generation in 2016; most of that generation came from conventional hydroelectric power, solar, and wind.
  • Missouri, with nine operating biodiesel plants and a tenth under construction, is the third largest producer of biodiesel among the states.

Renewable resources currently contribute less than 4% of Missouri’s net electricity generation, but there is considerable renewable energy potential in the state. Missouri’s primary renewable electricity sources are hydroelectric power and wind energy. The state has several pumped storage facilities and conventional hydroelectric power plants, and there is untapped hydroelectric power potential on the state’s rivers. As of 2016, Missouri had 659 megawatts of wind generating capacity online, another 300 megawatts being built, and substantial additional wind energy potential, primarily in the state’s northwest. Small amounts of the state’s net electricity generation come from biomass—mostly wood—and from solar energy. Missouri has significant biomass potential from agricultural waste, from municipal solid waste and landfill gas, and from the 14 million acres of forest that cover roughly one-third of the state. Electricity generation from solar photovoltaic installations is increasing. Several utility-scale facilities have been built, including a 5.7 megawatt solar farm in O’Fallon, Missouri, but most of the state’s solar generation comes from distributed (customer-sited, small-scale) facilities at both businesses and homes.

Missouri ranks 3rd in the nation in biodiesel production capacity and 13th in ethanol production capacity.

Bioenergy production in Missouri includes alternative liquid fuels in the form of ethanol and biodiesel. The state has the third-largest biodiesel production capacity in the nation, with nine biodiesel plants and a tenth under construction. The biodiesel plants in Missouri use a variety of feedstocks, mostly soy oil or animal fats. Missouri also has seven facilities that use corn, sorghum, and switchgrass to produce ethanol, and the state ranks 13th in the nation in ethanol production capacity.

In 2008, Missouri voters approved a mandatory renewable energy standard. The standard requires investor-owned electric utilities to obtain at least of 15% of electricity sales from renewable resources by 2021. The standard also requires that solar energy supply at least 0.3% of total retail electricity sales by 2021. State regulators have implemented cost caps to keep retail electricity rates from rising more than 1% annually because of the mandate.


Coal fuels about three-fourths of Missouri’s net electricity generation, and 8 of the 10 largest power plants in the state are coal-fired. Coal’s share of net generation has declined slightly as some older coal-fired plants have shut down or switched to natural gas. One-eighth of the state’s electricity generation comes from the Callaway nuclear power plant in Fulton, Missouri. The state has been obtaining about 5% of its net generation from natural gas-fired power plants, and that share is rising as coal’s share dips. Most of the rest of the state’s net electricity generation comes from renewable energy sources, primarily hydroelectric, wind, and solar facilities.

Almost all of the electricity generated in Missouri is provided by electric utilities. Much of the state is served by electric cooperatives and municipal utilities; however, most of the population, which is concentrated in the urban areas, receives its electric service from investor-owned utilities. The retail price of electricity in Missouri is well below the national average for all end-use sectors. One-third of Missouri households rely on electricity as their primary energy source for home heating.

Natural Gas

Missouri has no appreciable proved natural gas reserves and produces only a token amount of natural gas. Small amounts of natural gas were produced in Missouri in the past, but, except for a few wells that supply natural gas for private use, production in the state has ceased. One-third of Missouri, about 24,000 square miles, is underlain by coal seams that potentially could produce coalbed methane. Those coal deposits are in northwest, north-central, and west-central Missouri.

Missouri is crossed by a dozen interstate natural gas pipelines. Natural gas enters the state from the west and south, mostly from Kansas, Arkansas, and Nebraska. Most of the natural gas is sent on to Illinois and Iowa for delivery to markets in the Midwest and beyond. The eastern and western sections of the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), one of the nation’s largest and longest natural gas pipelines, connect in Missouri. The REX pipeline’s western section originates in Colorado and brings Rocky Mountain natural gas east. The pipeline’s eastern section is bidirectional and can bring natural gas to Missouri from shales in Ohio and Pennsylvania.Missouri has one natural gas storage field with a capacity of almost 14 billion cubic feet. It is located near St. Louis.

The residential sector, where more than half of the households use natural gas as their primary energy source for home heating, consumes more than one-third of the natural gas delivered to end users in Missouri. The industrial sector and the commercial sector each use about one-fourth of the natural gas delivered to consumers.The use of natural gas for electricity generation fluctuates but has increased overall in recent years.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (Mar 2017)

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