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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: August 8, 2017  |  Next Release Date: Septemeber 12, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

  • Total U.S. electricity generation from utility-scale power plants averaged 11,145 gigawatthours per day in 2016. Forecast U.S. generation declines by 1.2% in 2017, which mostly reflects expectations of milder temperatures in the third quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year. Forecast generation grows by 1.8% in 2018 based largely on a forecast of colder temperatures during the first quarter 2018 compared with the same period in 2017 and on the expectation of a growing economy.
  • 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 about 31% in 2017 as a result of higher natural gas prices, increased generation from renewables and coal, and lower electricity demand. Coal's forecast generation share rises from 30% last year to almost 32% in 2017. The projected generation shares for natural gas and coal are nearly identical in 2018, averaging between 31% and 32%.
  • Wind electricity generating capacity at the end of 2016 was 81 gigawatts (GW). EIA expects wind capacity additions in the forecast will bring total wind capacity to 88 GW by the end of 2017 and to 102 GW by the end of 2018.
  • Total utility-scale solar electricity generating capacity at the end of 2016 was 22 GW. EIA expects solar capacity additions in the forecast will bring total utility-scale solar capacity to 29 GW by the end of 2017 and to 32 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 12.98 13.39
Commercial Sector 10.64 10.37 10.54 10.67
Industrial Sector 6.91 6.75 7.02 7.21
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.23 2.11 2.15 2.21
Natural Gas 3.23 2.88 3.49 3.82
Residual Fuel Oil 10.36 8.41 10.23 9.96
Distillate Fuel Oil 14.47 10.86 13.50 14.81
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.705 3.388 3.480 3.536
Natural Gas 3.653 3.771 3.393 3.532
Nuclear 2.184 2.200 2.164 2.181
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.682 0.732 0.820 0.736
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.809 0.939 1.038 1.100
Total Generation 11.172 11.145 11.013 11.215
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.85 3.85 3.76 3.88
Commercial Sector 3.73 3.71 3.72 3.75
Industrial Sector 2.70 2.56 2.59 2.63
Total Retail Sales 10.30 10.14 10.10 10.29
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 3.5 2.6 2.0 3.5
Manufacturing Production Index 0.2 0.2 1.5 2.4
Cooling Degree Days 14.6 4.7 -7.4 0.6
Heating Degree Days -10.2 -5.1 0.1 8.2
Number of Households 1.0 0.9 0.6 1.2

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