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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: October 10, 2018  |  Next Release Date: November 6, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures


  • 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 35% in both 2018 and 2019. EIA’s forecast electricity generation share from coal averages 28% in 2018 and 27% in 2019, down from 30% in 2017. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and EIA forecasts that it will be slightly below 20% in 2018 and in 2019. Wind, solar, and other nonhydropower renewables provided slightly less than 10% of electricity generation in 2017, and EIA expects them to provide more than 10% in 2018 and nearly 11% in 2019. The generation share of hydropower was 7% in 2017 and EIA forecasts that it will be about the same in 2018 and 2019.
  • In 2017, EIA estimates that U.S. wind generation averaged 697,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d). EIA forecasts that wind generation will rise by 8% to 750,000 MWh/d in 2018 and by a further 6% to 793,000 MWh/d in 2019.
  • Solar power generates less electricity in the United States than wind power but continues to grow at a faster rate. EIA expects solar generation will rise from 211,000 MWh/d in 2017 to 267,000 MWh/d in 2018 (an increase of 26%) and to 305,000 MWh/d in 2019 (an increase of 14%).

U.S. electricity consumption

U.S. electricity generation

U.S. electricity prices

U.S. Electricity Summary
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.5512.9012.9313.31
Commercial Sector 10.4310.6810.7410.84
Industrial Sector 6.766.917.007.09
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Natural Gas 2.873.383.423.42
Residual Fuel Oil 8.4610.9712.8614.31
Distillate Fuel Oil 10.8213.2616.6117.50
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.3863.3093.1713.001
Natural Gas 3.7663.4873.9643.925
Nuclear 2.2012.2052.2172.186
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.7320.8220.7650.749
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.9331.0611.1551.221
Total Generation 11.13810.99911.39711.203
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.863.784.013.89
Commercial Sector 3.743.703.763.73
Industrial Sector 2.672.592.592.63
Total Retail Sales 10.2810.0910.3810.27
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income
Manufacturing Production Index -
Cooling Degree Days 4.7-8.611.7-13.9
Heating Degree Days -5.1-1.210.8-1.5
Number of Households

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Related Figures
U.S. electricity consumption XLSX PNG
U.S. residential electricity price XLSX PNG
U.S. electricity generation by fuel, all sectors XLSX PNG
U.S. renewable energy supply XLSX PNG
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth XLSX PNG
U.S. summer cooling degree days XLSX PNG
U.S. winter heating degree days XLSX PNG
U.S. census regions and census divisions XLSX PNG
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