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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 6, 2018  |  Next Release Date: March 6, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

  • EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants to rise from 32% in 2017 to 33% in 2018 and to 34% in 2019. The forecast generation share from coal in 2018 averages 30%, about the same as in 2017, but then falls to 29% in 2019. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and is forecast to average 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2019. Nonhydropower renewables provided slightly less than 10% of electricity generation in 2017 and is expected to provide about 10% in both 2018 and 2019. The generation share of hydropower was almost 8% in 2017 and is forecast to be about 7% in both 2018 and 2019.
  • EIA projects that total solar electricity generation will increase from an estimated average of 209,000 MWh/d in 2017 to 240,000 MWh/d in 2018 and to 287,000 MWh/d in 2019.
U.S. Electricity Summary
  2016201720182019
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.5512.9013.2313.62
Commercial Sector 10.4310.6810.9811.04
Industrial Sector 6.766.927.157.21
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.112.092.212.21
Natural Gas 2.873.343.613.45
Residual Fuel Oil 8.4610.6912.1111.73
Distillate Fuel Oil 10.8413.2715.4815.00
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.3863.3183.3073.224
Natural Gas 3.7663.4863.6643.796
Nuclear 2.2012.2062.1842.149
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.7320.8260.7460.730
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.9331.0531.0851.177
Total Generation 11.13911.00211.11911.206
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.863.783.913.92
Commercial Sector 3.743.693.723.74
Industrial Sector 2.672.602.642.66
Total Retail Sales 10.2810.0910.2910.34
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 1.41.33.63.7
Manufacturing Production Index 0.21.73.02.8
Cooling Degree Days 4.7-8.7-4.20.3
Heating Degree Days -5.1-1.511.0-0.6
Number of Households 0.41.11.31.3

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