At this month’s Western Planner Conference, I noticed a lot of the presenters (more than one) used a lot of data and graphics from the US Energy Information Administration, when they were talking about energy development. Now, I pride myself on being a data geek, but I had not heard of this federal font of, well, energy information.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.
Part of the US Department of Energy (of course), the EIA website features production and pricing data in easy-to-use tables & graphs, energy outlook analysis, and environmental data covering petroleum (crude oil, gasoline, diesel), natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear and renewable fuels. For example, the chart above tracks retail gasoline prices in Minnesota from 2000 to last week ($3.729). You can easily chart gasoline or diesel prices at national or regional averages, for certain states and certain cities. They have some interesting, if a bit clunky, interactive online mapping, too.
Minnesota Quick Facts
- Minnesota ranked fourth in the Nation in ethanol production in 2011, and has approximately two dozen ethanol production plants.
- Per capita energy use, 20th among the States in 2010, was in line with Minnesota’s population size, 21st in the Nation in 2010, despite its extremely cold climate.
- Fifty-three percent of the electricity generated in Minnesota came from coal-fired electric power plants in 2011; most of its coal supply was brought in by rail from Montana and Wyoming.
- Two nuclear power plants near Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Monticello reactor and the Prairie Island I and II reactors, account for 22 percent of Minnesota’s net electricity generation.
- Minnesota ranked fourth in the Nation in net electricity generation from wind energy in 2011; its net generation was 6.8 million megawatthours in 2011, an increase of 42 percent from 2010.