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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: December 12, 2017  |  Next Release Date: January 9, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

  • EIA expects the share of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas will average about 32% in 2017, down from 34% in 2016 as a result of higher natural gas fuel costs and increased generation from renewable energy sources. EIA projects the 2017 share of generation from coal will average 30%, about the same as last year. The forecast 2018 generation shares for natural gas and coal remain relatively unchanged from 2017, averaging 32% and 31%, respectively. Generation from renewable energy sources other than hydropower grows from about 8% in 2016 to a forecast share of nearly 10% in 2018. Nuclear power's forecast share of total electricity generation averages about 20% in both 2017 and 2018, similar to its 2016 level.
  • U.S. wind electricity generating capacity at the end of 2016 totaled 81 gigawatts (GW). EIA expects wind capacity additions in the forecast to raise total wind capacity to 88 GW by the end of 2017 and to 96 GW by the end of 2018.
  • Total U.S. utility-scale solar electricity generating capacity at the end of 2016 was 22 GW. EIA expects solar capacity additions will bring total utility-scale solar capacity to 27 GW by the end of 2017 and to 30 GW by the end of 2018.
U.S. Electricity Summary
  2015 2016 2017 2018
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.65 12.55 12.89 13.23
Commercial Sector 10.64 10.43 10.68 11.00
Industrial Sector 6.91 6.76 6.93 7.12
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.23 2.11 2.12 2.20
Natural Gas 3.23 2.87 3.43 3.64
Residual Fuel Oil 10.36 8.41 10.73 11.25
Distillate Fuel Oil 14.47 10.83 12.83 13.65
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.705 3.386 3.349 3.409
Natural Gas 3.653 3.766 3.475 3.584
Nuclear 2.184 2.201 2.197 2.178
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.682 0.732 0.819 0.723
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.809 0.933 1.040 1.085
Total Generation 11.172 11.139 10.993 11.108
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.85 3.86 3.76 3.88
Commercial Sector 3.73 3.74 3.69 3.69
Industrial Sector 2.70 2.67 2.62 2.67
Total Retail Sales 10.30 10.28 10.09 10.26
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 4.2 1.4 1.3 2.3
Manufacturing Production Index 0.2 0.2 1.4 1.8
Cooling Degree Days 14.6 4.7 -8.6 -4.3
Heating Degree Days -10.2 -5.1 -1.7 11.1
Number of Households 1.0 0.5 1.0 1.3

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