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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: March 7, 2017  |  Next Release Date: April 11, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

  • Total U.S. electricity generation from utility-scale plants averaged 11,140 gigawatthours per day in 2016. Forecast generation declines by 0.7% in 2017 and then grows by 1.9% in 2018.
  • EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas to fall from an average of 34% in 2016 to 32% in 2017 as a result of higher expected natural gas prices. The natural gas share of generation is then expected to rise slightly to 33% in 2018. Coal's forecast generation share rises from 30% in 2016 to average 31% in 2017 before falling back to 30% in 2018. Nonhydropower renewables are forecast to provide 9% of electricity generation in 2017 and 10% in 2018. The generation share of hydropower is forecast to be relatively unchanged from 2017 to 2018 at 7%, and the nuclear share of electricity generation declines slightly from almost 20% in 2017 to 19% in 2018.
  • EIA expects growth in coal-fired electricity generation to contribute to a 4% increase in coal production in 2017. Coal production is expected to be unchanged in 2018. EIA estimates the delivered coal price averaged $2.11/MMBtu in 2016, a 5% decline from the 2015 price. Coal prices are forecast to increase in 2017 and 2018 to $2.17/MMBtu and $2.21/MMBtu, respectively.
U.S. Electricity Summary
  2015 2016 2017 2018
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.65 12.55 12.88 13.18
Commercial Sector 10.64 10.37 10.49 10.64
Industrial Sector 6.91 6.75 6.90 7.02
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.23 2.11 2.17 2.21
Natural Gas 3.23 2.88 3.55 4.00
Residual Fuel Oil 10.36 8.41 10.42 10.76
Distillate Fuel Oil 14.47 10.86 13.41 14.62
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.705 3.388 3.441 3.418
Natural Gas 3.653 3.771 3.520 3.705
Nuclear 2.184 2.200 2.181 2.185
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.682 0.732 0.768 0.734
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.809 0.938 1.030 1.102
Total Generation 11.172 11.144 11.065 11.275
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.85 3.85 3.79 3.88
Commercial Sector 3.73 3.71 3.72 3.76
Industrial Sector 2.70 2.56 2.66 2.67
Total Retail Sales 10.30 10.14 10.19 10.33
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 3.5 2.7 2.5 4.0
Manufacturing Production Index 1.1 0.2 1.1 2.8
Cooling Degree Days 14.6 4.6 -7.4 -1.8
Heating Degree Days -10.2 -5.1 -0.9 7.2
Number of Households 1.0 0.9 1.0 1.3

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