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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: December 6, 2016  |  Next Release Date: January 10, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Renewables and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  • Wind energy capacity at the end of 2015 was 72 gigawatts (GW). EIA expects capacity additions of 7 GW in 2016 and 9 GW in 2017. These additions would bring total wind capacity to 89 GW by the end of 2017.
  • On November 23, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule setting Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for 2017. EIA used the final volumes to develop the current STEO forecast. EIA expects that the largest effect of the finalized 2017 RFS targets will be on biomass-based diesel consumption, which includes both biodiesel and renewable diesel and helps to meet the RFS targets for use of biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. Biodiesel production averaged 82,000 b/d in 2015, and it is forecast to average 99,000 b/d in 2016 and 104,000 b/d in 2017. Net imports of biomass-based diesel are expected to rise from 31,000 b/d in 2015 to 45,000 b/d in 2016 and to 51,000 b/d in 2017. Projected ethanol consumption averages about 940,000 b/d in both 2016 and 2017, resulting in the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool averaging 10% in both years.
  • After declining by 2.6% in 2015, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to decline by 1.3% in 2016 and then increase by 0.9% in 2017. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth, and energy prices.

Figure 26: U.S. Renewable Energy Supply

U.S. Renewables & CO2 Emissions Summary
  2014 2015 2016 2017
a Conventional hydroelectric power only. Hydroelectricity generated by pumped storage is not included in renewable energy.
b Includes electricity and heat generation
c Other renewables includes biofuels production losses and co-products
d Includes electric power sector use of geothermal energy and non-biomass waste
U.S. Renewables Consumption (quadrillion Btu)
Geothermal 0.214 0.224 0.229 0.230
Hydropowera 2.467 2.389 2.590 2.504
Solar 0.337 0.450 0.594 0.744
Waste Biomass 0.516 0.514 0.521 0.516
Wind 1.726 1.812 2.103 2.244
Wood Biomass 2.230 2.040 1.963 2.004
Electricity Subtotalb 7.479 7.394 7.965 8.220
Biomass-based Diesel 0.198 0.215 0.281 0.303
Ethanol 1.107 1.148 1.188 1.184
Biofuels Subtotal 1.305 1.363 1.464 1.488
Otherc 0.757 0.776 0.794 0.800
Total 9.542 9.533 10.220 10.508
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2252 2295 2315 2324
Natural Gas 1430 1476 1489 1501
Coal 1713 1483 1382 1406
Total Energyd 5406 5264 5197 5242

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