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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: May 8, 2018  |  Next Release Date: June 12, 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 34% in both 2018 and 2019. The forecast electricity generation share from coal averages 29% in both 2018 and 2019, down from 30% in 2017. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and is forecast to be 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2019. Nonhydropower renewables provided slightly less than 10% of electricity generation in 2017 and are expected to provide more than 10% in 2018 and nearly 11% in 2019. The generation share of hydropower was 7% in 2017 and is forecast to fall slightly below that level both 2018 and 2019.
  • In 2017, EIA estimates that wind generated an average of 697,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d). EIA forecasts that wind generation will rise to 741,000 MWh/d in 2018 and to 766,000 MWh/d in 2019. If factors such as precipitation and snowpack remain as forecast, conventional hydropower is forecast to generate 747,000 MWh/d in 2019, making it the first year that wind generation would exceed hydropower generation in the United States.
U.S. Electricity Summary
  2016201720182019
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.5512.9013.0913.56
Commercial Sector 10.4310.6810.9411.06
Industrial Sector 6.766.917.177.26
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.112.082.202.22
Natural Gas 2.873.383.493.49
Residual Fuel Oil 8.4610.9712.7812.87
Distillate Fuel Oil 10.8213.2616.4116.02
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.3863.3093.2283.211
Natural Gas 3.7663.4873.7783.852
Nuclear 2.2012.2052.2062.138
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.7320.8220.7660.747
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.9331.0611.1371.189
Total Generation 11.13810.99911.24711.262
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.863.783.923.92
Commercial Sector 3.743.703.733.75
Industrial Sector 2.672.592.632.65
Total Retail Sales 10.2810.0910.3110.33
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 1.41.22.53.4
Manufacturing Production Index -0.71.52.82.6
Cooling Degree Days 4.7-8.6-4.10.4
Heating Degree Days -5.1-1.212.8-1.9
Number of Households 0.41.11.11.1

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