Wyoming has 2nd Least Energy-Efficient Economy, Study Shows
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 22, 2022
While Wyoming remains one of the nation’s top energy producers, a new study shows it is one of the least energy-efficient states with the lowest national GDP.
Energy continues to be at the forefront of the United State’s economy and political discourse. However, the economies of the nation and the 50 states have changed over the last century – in Wyoming, especially – which affects the amount of energy needed to sustain the economy.
In Wyoming, the changing energy environment threatens the most significant part of the state economy as demand for coal continues to decline. As more jobs in science and technology replace the nation shifts from fossil fuels to greener energy and industrial work, the amount of energy each state needs to support their economies continues to decline.
Commodity.com is looking at energy trends nationally to answer a simple question: which state has the most energy-efficient economy?
Researchers at Commodity.com analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Then, using B.T.U, the researchers used this data to rank states by their total energy consumption per G.D.P.. per dollar as the standard of measurement.
The British thermal unit (B.T.U.) is a unit of heat, defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Since heat is scientifically equivalent to energy, it is the unit of measurement for energy usage.
Other statistics factored into the study were the total energy consumption per capita, total energy consumption, and total G.D.P.
Based on this analysis, Wyoming’s G.D.P. is $39.6 billion – the lowest in the nation. However, the lowest G.D.P. isn’t surprising given that Wyoming remains the least populated state.
Total energy consumption per G.D.P. in Wyoming is 13,656.3 B.T.U. per dollar. The national average is 4,691.3 B.T.U. per dollar.
These statistics show Wyoming has the second least energy-efficient economy. The only state with a higher B.T.U. per dollar is Louisiana (16,870.2 B.T.U. per dollar.)
By comparison, New York has the most energy-efficient economy in the nation. The state’s total energy consumption is 2,169.0 B.T.U. per dollar with a G.D.P. of nearly $1.8 trillion.
Fossil fuels still produce most of the nation’s energy. The nation’s primary fossil fuel is natural gas (34 quadrillion B.T.U.), followed by crude oil (23.6.) Coal comes in third, producing 10.7 quadrillion B.T.U.s of energy annually.
However, many states continue a speedy transition from more inefficient fossil fuels toward efficient renewable sources with new investments and regulations. Furthermore, states benefit from other economic and demographic factors, like the shift toward less energy-intensive industries or densely populated urban areas.
Ironically, densely populated urban areas promote higher energy efficiency in buildings and transportation. But Wyoming is as far from urban as any state can be in the 21st Century.