Nebraska's total energy consumption in 2012 was 861 trillion British thermal units (Btu), which was a 1.2 percent decrease from 2011. Total energy consumption is consumption of primary resources and end–use energy. According to the Energy Consumption Comparison by State report, Nebraska had the 19th lowest or the 33rd highest energy consumption in the country, which was less than one percent (0.9 percent) of the nation's total consumption. Using energy consumption per capita for comparison, Nebraska was the 45th lowest or the 7th highest in the country.
Primary resource consumption includes energy used in the generation of electricity whether that electricity is used in Nebraska or not. In 2012, consumption of primary energy resources was 868.98 trillion Btu, which was a 5.1–percent decrease from 2011.
End–use energy consumption refers to the energy content of electricity and other fuels at the point of use by consumers. Unless otherwise noted, total energy consumption refers to total primary energy consumption adjusted for net interstate sales of electricity. Net interstate sales represent the difference between the energy in electricity sold, including the associated losses, and the energy input at electric utilities in Nebraska. Net interstate sales will be a negative number if Nebraska sold, or exported, electricity; and it will be a positive number if Nebraska had to buy, or import, electricity. Approximately 70 percent of the primary energy used to generate and distribute electricity is lost as waste heat. This loss is referred to as associated energy losses or electric system losses.
In 2012, Nebraska's energy needs were met by coal (31.4 percent), petroleum (27.2 percent), natural gas (18.6 percent), renewable energy (15.8 percent), and nuclear electric power (7.0 percent). (In the graph below, hydroelectric power is broken out of renewable energy.) From 2011 to 2012, renewable energy use decreased 8.0 percent, natural gas use decreased 6.9 percent, and coal use decreased 4.5 percent. Nuclear electric power use decreased 16.2 percent (probably due to the shutdown of the Fort Calhourn Nuclear Plant due to the 2011 flood). Petroleum use was the only increase and that was a small increase of 0.8 percent.
Petroleum products are listed in the second table below to conserve space. Petroleum is divided into ten fuels or categories of fuels: distillate fuel (48.8 percent of petroleum), motor gasoline (41.8 percent), propane (4.15 percent), asphalt and road oil (2.16 percent), jet fuel (2.16 percent), lubricants (0.71 percent), aviation gasoline (0.10 percent), other petroleum (0.09 percent), kerosene (0.0043 percent), and residual fuel (0.0043 percent). Other petroleum products include sixteen (16) separate products, all of which are assigned to the industrial sector. The sixteen products are: aviation gasoline blending components; crude oil; motor gasoline blending components; natural gasoline, including isopentane; pentanes plus; petrochemical feedstocks, naphtha; petrochemical feedstocks, other oils; petrochemical feedstocks, still gas; petroleum coke; plant condensate; special naphthas; still gas; unfinished oils; unfractionated streams; waxes; and miscellaneous. Miscellaneous products vary from inexpensive (absorption oils similar to kerosene) to very expensive (hydraulic fluids) products. The greater part of the miscellaneous product line consists of finished petrochemicals, especially the aromatic hydrocarbons: benzene, toluene, and the xylenes.
Renewable energy components are listed in the third table below to conserve space. Renewable energy consists of biofuels (76.22 percent of renewable energy), conventional hydroelectric power (8.71 percent of renewable energy), wood and waste (5.17 percent of renewable energy), wind (8.9 percent of renewable energy), geothermal (0.88 percent of renewable energy), and photovoltaic, and solar thermal energy (0.04 percent of renewable energy). Note that Nebraska did use wind energy in 1998, 1999, and 2000 although the numbers were not large enough until 2001 to be included in the table below. Also see Nebraska's renewable energy consumption report.