Montana State Profile and Energy Estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Montana’s cold winters and small population contribute to Montana’s high residential per capita energy consumption of any state, exceeded only by North Dakota.

In 2021, coal generated 43% of Montana’s in state electricity generation…hydropower accounted for 40%, wind power 12%, natural gas 2%, Petroleum coke accounted for almost 2%.

In 2021 MT ranked among the top 10 states with the largest share of electricity generated from renewables. Renewable, primarily hydropower, accounted for 52% of Montana’s electricity.

 

Montana uses 60% of the electricity generated here, the rest is sent over high-voltage transmission lines to other western states.

Coal: Montana has the largest estimated recoverable coal reserves in the US…30% of US coal reserves. In 2020, about 50% of Montana’s coal production was sent to other states, 33% stayed in Montana, the rest was exported to other countries.

Hydroelectric: the ultimate green and renewable source of power…In 2021, Montana was the seventh largest producer of hydropower in the US. The headwaters of the Missouri River are in our mountains; the mountainous terrain along the Continental Divide creates fast running rivers perfect for hydroelectric power generation. 

Petroleum: Montana accounts for less than 1% of US total crude oil reserves.

Natural Gas: Montana  accounts for .1% of US total natural gas reserves and marketed. MT consumes twice as much natural gas as it produces, making it a net natural gas importer. About half of MT households use natural gas as their primary energy source for home heating.

Solar: In 2021, less than 1% of Montana’s energy production

 

Enacted in 2005, Montana’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires electricity retail suppliers to acquire at least 15% of  the electricity they sell in state from renewable energy sources by 2015. Qualifying renewable resources include : wind, solar geothermal, biomass, small hydroelectric facilities, landfill gas anaerobic digesters and renewable fuel cells.