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Annual Energy Outlook 2022

Release Date: March 3, 2022 Next Release Date: March 16, 2023 AEO NarrativePDF
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Key takeaways from the Reference case and side cases

Petroleum and natural gas remain the most-consumed sources of energy in the United States through 2050, but renewable energy is the fastest growing

  • Motor gasoline remains the most prevalent transportation fuel despite electric vehicles gaining market share
  • Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dip through 2035 before climbing later in the projection years
  • Energy consumption increases through 2050 as population and economic growth outweighs efficiency gains
  • Electricity continues to be the fastest-growing energy source in buildings, with renewables and natural gas providing most of the incremental electricity supply

Wind and solar incentives, along with falling technology costs, support robust competition with natural gas for electricity generation, while the shares of coal and nuclear power decrease in the U.S. electricity mix

  • Electricity demand grows slowly across the projection period, which increases competition among fuels
  • Renewable electricity generation increases more rapidly than overall electricity demand through 2050
  • Battery storage complements growth in renewables generation and reduces natural gas-fired and oil-fired generation during peak hours
  • As coal and nuclear generating capacity retire, new capacity additions come largely from wind and solar technologies

U.S. crude oil production reaches record highs, while natural gas production is increasingly driven by natural gas exports

  • U.S. production of natural gas and petroleum and other liquids rises amid growing demand for exports and industrial uses
  • Driven by rising prices, U.S. crude oil production in the Reference case returns to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 and stabilizes over the long term
  • Refinery closures lower domestic crude oil distillation operating capacity, but refinery utilization rates remain flat over the long term
  • Consumption of renewable diesel increases as a share of the domestic fuel mix