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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 12, 2019  |  Next Release Date: March 12, 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 35% in 2018 to 36% in 2019 and to 37% in 2020. EIA forecasts that the electricity generation share from coal will average 26% in 2019 and 24% in 2020, down from 28% in 2018. The nuclear share of generation was 19% in 2018 and EIA forecasts that it will stay near that level in 2019 and in 2020. The generation share of hydropower is forecast to average slightly less than 7% of total generation in 2019 and 2020, similar to last year. Wind, solar, and other nonhydropower renewables together provided about 10% of electricity generation in 2018. EIA expects them to provide 11% in 2019 and 13% in 2020.

  • EIA expects average U.S. solar generation will rise from 265,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d) in 2018 to 301,000 MWh/d in 2019 (an increase of 14%) and to 358,000 MWh/d in 2020 (an increase of 19%). These forecasts of solar generation include large-scale facilities as well as small-scale distributed solar generators, primarily on residential and commercial buildings.

  • In 2019, EIA expects wind’s annual share of generation will exceed hydropower’s share for the first time. EIA forecasts that wind generation will rise from 756,000 MWh/d in 2018 to 859,000 MWh/d in 2019 (a share of 8%). Wind generation is further projected to rise to 964,000 MWh/d (a share of 9%) by 2020.

U.S. electricity consumption

U.S. electricity generation

U.S. renewable energy supply

U.S. electricity prices

U.S. Electricity Summary
  2017201820192020
aConventional hydroelectric power only. Hydroelectricity generated by pumped storage is not included in renewable energy.
bIncludes electricity and heat generation
cOther renewables includes biofuels production losses and co-products
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.8912.9113.2513.45
Commercial Sector 10.6610.6610.6710.63
Industrial Sector 6.886.946.957.02
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.062.062.072.08
Natural Gas 3.373.523.062.97
Residual Fuel Oil 11.0112.8612.0712.25
Distillate Fuel Oil 13.2716.1715.0516.43
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.3043.1572.8902.691
Natural Gas 3.5524.0244.0264.167
Nuclear 2.2052.2112.1852.111
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.8220.7920.7300.770
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 1.0581.1591.2831.427
Total Generation 11.05311.46611.23111.284
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.784.003.873.92
Commercial Sector 3.713.773.743.76
Industrial Sector 2.702.622.642.63
Total Retail Sales 10.2010.4210.2610.33
U.S. Renewables Consumption (quadrillion Btu)
Geothermal 0.2100.2190.2290.231
Hydropowera 2.7672.6752.4612.601
Solar 0.7740.9561.0781.274
Waste Biomass 0.4950.4930.4870.490
Wind 2.3462.5462.8923.254
Wood Biomass 2.2852.3352.1642.162
Electricity Subtotalb 8.8579.2369.2839.978
Biomass-based Diesel 0.2800.2620.3210.341
Ethanol 1.1921.1861.2011.206
Biofuels Subtotal 1.4731.4481.5201.547
Otherc 0.8210.8310.8200.825
Total 11.15211.52711.62312.350

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