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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: December 9, 2014  |  Next Release Date: January 13, 2015  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Renewables and CO2 Emissions

Electricity and Heat Generation from Renewables

EIA projects that total renewables used for electricity and heat generation will grow by 1.8% in 2014. Conventional hydropower generation is projected to fall by 4.4%, while nonhydropower renewables rise by 5.1%. Nonhydropower renewables generation surpasses hydropower on an annual basis for the first time in 2014. In 2015, total renewables consumption for electric power and heat generation increases by 4.3% as a result of similar increases in both hydropower and nonhydropower renewables. Electricity generation from wind is projected to contribute 4.7% of total electricity generation in 2015.

EIA expects continued growth in utility-scale solar power generation, which is projected to average more than 60 gigawatthours per day in 2015. Despite the growth, this remains just 0.6% of total U.S. generation. While solar growth has historically been concentrated in customer-sited distributed generation installations, utility-scale solar capacity slightly more than doubled in 2013. EIA expects that utility-scale solar capacity will nearly double again between the end of 2013 and the end of 2015, with about two-thirds of this new capacity being built in California.

Liquid Biofuels

Ethanol production reached a weekly record of 982,000 bbl/d during the week ending November 21, exceeding the previous record of 972,000 bbl/d set during the week ending June 13, 2014. Ethanol production in November also reached a monthly average record of 963,000 bbl/d, exceeding the previous record of 959,000 bbl/d set in December 2011. EIA expects ethanol production to average 931,000 bbl/d in 2014 and 948,000 bbl/d in 2015. Biodiesel production averaged 89,000 bbl/d in 2013 and is forecast to average 80,000 bbl/d in 2014 and 84,000 bbl/d in 2015.

Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions

EIA estimates that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels increased by 2.5% in 2013 from the previous year. Emissions are forecast to rise by 1.3% in 2014, primarily because of cold weather early in the year, and then to remain flat in 2015.

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 2.448 2.553
Geothermal 0.212 0.221 0.220 0.227
Solar 0.227 0.307 0.422 0.521
Wind 1.339 1.595 1.697 1.839
Wood Biomass 2.010 2.138 2.166 2.115
Ethanol 1.062 1.090 1.107 1.107
Biodiesel 0.117 0.205 0.195 0.196
Waste Biomass 0.467 0.476 0.474 0.490
Total 8.817 9.351 9.521 9.840
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2240 2272 2280 2290
Natural Gas 1363 1399 1444 1434
Coal 1657 1722 1738 1737
Total Fossil Fuels 5260 5393 5462 5460

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