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Short-Term Energy and Summer Fuels Outlook

Release Date: April 8, 2014  |  Next Release Date: May 6, 2014  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Renewables and CO2 Emissions

U.S. Electricity and Heat Generation from Renewables

EIA projects renewables used for electricity and heat generation will grow by about 3.7% in 2014. Hydropower is projected to increase by 3.6%, while nonhydropower renewables rise by 3.7%. In 2015, projected renewables consumption for electric power and heat generation increases by 3.0% from 2014, as a 1.0% decrease in hydropower is combined with a 5.2% increase in nonhydropower renewables. EIA estimates that wind power capacity will increase by 8.9% in 2014 and 15.5% in 2015, reaching about 66 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2014 and 76 GW at the end of 2015. Electricity generation from wind is projected to contribute 4.5% of total electricity generation in 2015. EIA expects continued robust growth in solar electricity generation, although the amount of utility-scale generation remains a small share of total U.S. generation at about 0.5% in 2015. While solar growth has historically been concentrated in customer-sited distributed generation installations, utility-scale solar capacity doubled in 2013. EIA currently expects that utility-scale solar capacity will increase by approximately 56% between year-end 2013 and year-end 2015. Approximately 70% of this new capacity is being built in California. However, customer-sited photovoltaic capacity growth, which the STEO does not forecast, is expected to exceed utility-scale solar growth between 2013 and 2015, according to EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2014.

U.S. Liquid Biofuels

Logistical constraints, primarily railroad delays resulting from extreme winter temperatures in the Midwest, led ethanol production to decline from an average of about 900,000 bbl/d in January and February 2014 to 890,000 bbl/d in March 2014. These logistical problems led to sharp ethanol price increases across the United States in March, but especially in PADD 1 (East Coast). These constraints are expected to be short-lived as warmer temperatures arrive and ethanol production rebounds to a forecast average of 908,000 bbl/d during 2014.

Biodiesel production, which averaged 64,000 bbl/d (1.0 billion gallons per year) in 2012, rose to 104,000 bbl/d (135 million gallons) in December 2013, 7 million gallons higher than in November. A biodiesel production tax credit expired at the end of 2013. Biodiesel production averaged 87,000 bbl/d in 2013 and is forecast to average 75,000 bbl/d in 2014 and 77,000 bbl/d in 2015.

U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions

EIA estimates that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels increased by 2.1% in 2013 from the previous year. Emissions are forecast to rise 1.9% in 2014, followed by a decline in 2015 of 0.8%. The increase in emissions in 2013 and 2014 reflects growth in coal consumption because of its higher use in electric power generation. Coal emissions are projected to decline by 2.5% in 2015 with increasing coal plant retirements.

U.S. Renewables & CO2 Emissions Summary
  2012 2013 2014 2015
a Conventional hydroelectric power only. Hydroelectricity generated by pumped storage is not included in renewable energy.
U.S. Renewables Consumption (quadrillion Btu)
Hydroelectric Powera 2.629 2.561 2.654 2.628
Geothermal 0.212 0.221 0.224 0.227
Solar 0.234 0.320 0.425 0.512
Wind 1.339 1.595 1.663 1.789
Wood Biomass 2.001 2.013 1.989 2.016
Ethanol 1.092 1.116 1.115 1.119
Biodiesel 0.117 0.201 0.173 0.180
Waste Biomass 0.481 0.481 0.493 0.503
Total 8.105 8.507 8.710 8.974
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2246 2262 2273 2283
Natural Gas 1362 1391 1402 1395
Coal 1653 1718 1796 1751
Total Fossil Fuels 5262 5371 5472 5429

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