The “Show Me” State Still Loves Its Coal!

State Economy

The population of the “Show Me State,” Missouri s approximately 6.17 million people[1]. Missouri is the 18th most populated state in the United States.

In 2020, Missouri’s economy was ranked 22nd in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The state’s economy is dependent on the agriculture, forestry, aerospace, defense, manufacturing, mining, and transportation industries[3].

Environment Policies

In 2007, Missouri enacted a Renewable Energy Standard that mandates all investor-owned utilities sell 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2021[4].

In September 2021, Missouri utilities[5] used coal (69.8%), nuclear power (12.2%), renewable energy (10.0%), and natural gas (8.0 %) to generate electricity. Wind and hydropower are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Missouri.

In September 2021, the average cost of residential electricity in Missouri was 13.11 ¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 14.19  ¢ per kWh.

Recent renewable energy developments in Missouri include:

  • 369 MW Solar Project – Colorado renewable energy company, Scout Clean Energy is continuing work on the Blue Sky Solar project at a site in north-central region of the state. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 300 MW Wind Project – In December 2021, Missouri utility Ameren Corporation commissioned the Atchison Renewable Energy Center at a site in the northwest region of the state.
  • 5 MW Wind Project – In December 2020, Italian utility Enel commissioned the White Cloud wind project, which is located in the northwest region of the state.
  • 200 MW Solar Project – In May 2021, Nebraska renewable energy company, Tenaska announced plans to build the Kelso a solar project in the southeast region of the state.
  • 5 MW Solar Project – In December 2021, Ameren commissioned the Montgomery County Community Solar project at a site in the east-central region of the state.


Coal was first commercially mined in Missouri in the 1880s[6]. Coal was initially used to fuel steam engines for the railroad, stoves, and forges.

In 2020, Missouri had one operating coal mine[7], which produced only 159,000 tons of  bituminous coal. Coal for Missouri’s power plants are brought by rail from Wyoming.

In 2010, 82.9% of Missouri’s electricity was generated from coal-fueled power plants. In September 2021, 69.8% of the state’s electricity was still generated from coal-fueled power plants.

Missouri has significant renewable energy resources, including wind, hydropower, solar, and biomass. However, state utilities have been excruciatingly slow to move coal to clean, low-cost renewable energy.

Missouri utilities will be hard pressed to achieve the state’s renewable energy standard of using only 15% of its electricity from renewable energy by year-end 2021. The “Show Me” State Loves Its Coal!

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


[1] Missouri Population 2021, World Population Review

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

[3] Biggest Industries in Missouri  – World Atlas

[4] National Conference of State Legislators – State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals, August 13, 2021

[5] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Missouri State Profile and Energy Estimates,

[6] Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Coal

[7] U.S. EIA – Missouri State Profile and Energy Estimates, Energy Analysis – Coal, February 18, 2021

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