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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: December 11, 2018  |  Next Release Date: January 15, 2019  |  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 35% in 2018 and in 2019. EIA forecasts that the electricity generation share from coal will average 28% in 2018 and 26% in 2019, down from 30% in 2017. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and EIA forecasts that it will average about 19% in 2018 and in 2019. Wind, solar, and other nonhydropower renewables provided about 10% of electricity generation in 2017. EIA expects them to provide 10% in 2018 and 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 in 2019.
  • EIA expects average U.S. solar generation will rise from 212,000 megawatt hours per day (MWh/d) in 2017 to 268,000 MWh/d in 2018 (an increase of 27%) and to 303,000 MWh/d in 2019 (an increase of 13%). In recent years, the industry has seen a shift from fixed-tilt solar PV systems to tracking systems.. Although tracking systems are more expensive than fixed-tilt systems, revenue from the additional electricity generated by following the path of the sun across the sky often exceeds the increased cost.

U.S. electricity consumption

U.S. electricity generation

U.S. electricity prices

U.S. Electricity Summary
  2016201720182019
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.5512.8912.9013.31
Commercial Sector 10.4310.6610.6310.73
Industrial Sector 6.766.886.946.96
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.112.062.072.08
Natural Gas 2.873.373.583.35
Residual Fuel Oil 8.4611.0112.7812.16
Distillate Fuel Oil 10.8213.2716.1815.08
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.3863.3043.1902.975
Natural Gas 3.7663.5524.0153.957
Nuclear 2.2012.2052.2122.186
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.7320.8230.7750.740
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.9331.0581.1821.287
Total Generation 11.13811.05311.49411.261
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.863.784.023.89
Commercial Sector 3.743.713.773.75
Industrial Sector 2.672.702.632.66
Total Retail Sales 10.2810.2010.4410.32
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 1.72.62.82.4
Manufacturing Production Index -0.71.52.73.0
Cooling Degree Days 4.7-8.511.3-13.3
Heating Degree Days -5.1-1.312.8-2.6
Number of Households 0.41.01.21.1

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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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