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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: June 9, 2020  |  Next Release Date: July 7, 2020  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

  • EIA forecasts 5.7% less electricity consumption in the United States in 2020, compared with 2019. The largest decline by consumption sector on a percentage basis occurs in the commercial sector, where EIA expects retail sales of electricity to fall by 9.1% this year. Forecast industrial retail electricity sales fall by 6.7%. EIA forecasts residential sector retail sales will decrease by 1.5% in 2020. Milder expected temperatures compared with 2019 reduce EIA’s forecast of electricity consumption for space heating and cooling, but that effect is partly offset by an assumed increase in electricity use by more people who are working from home. In 2021, EIA forecasts total U.S. electricity consumption will rise by 1.0%.
  • EIA expects the share of U.S. utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants will increase from 37% in 2019 to 41% this year. In 2021, the forecast natural gas share declines to 36% in response to higher natural gas prices. Coal’s forecast share of electricity generation falls from 24% in 2019 to 17% in 2020 and then increases to 20% in 2021. Electricity generation from renewable energy sources rise from 17% in 2019 to 21% in 2020 and to 23% in 2021. The increase in the share from renewables is the result of expected additions to wind and solar generating capacity. Expected nuclear generation declines slightly in both 2020 and 2021, but its generation share rises from 20% in 2019 to an average of 22% in 2020 and 21% in 2021 because total U.S. generation falls by more than nuclear generation.
  • EIA forecasts that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of electricity generation in 2020. EIA expects the electric power sector will add 23.2 gigawatts of new wind capacity and 12.6 gigawatts of utility-scale solar capacity in 2020. However, these future capacity additions are subject to a high degree of uncertainty, and EIA continues to monitor reported planned capacity builds.

U.S. electricity generation

U.S. renewable energy supply

U.S. electricity prices

U.S. Electricity Summary
  2018201920202021
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 12.8713.0413.0813.46
Commercial Sector 10.6710.6610.5710.85
Industrial Sector 6.926.836.767.05
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.062.021.982.03
Natural Gas 3.552.882.173.40
Residual Fuel Oil 12.9212.728.298.85
Distillate Fuel Oil 16.2015.1610.0911.54
Generation (billion kWh)
Coal 1,145.96966.15619.04749.48
Natural Gas 1,468.731,581.821,597.761,429.14
Nuclear 807.08809.41798.29784.33
Conventional Hydroelectric 292.52273.71291.32282.94
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 414.34446.73507.71591.78
Total Generation 4,174.404,118.053,853.373,876.73
Retail Sales (billion kWh)
Residential Sector 1,469.091,435.151,414.231,423.78
Commercial Sector 1,381.751,354.541,231.671,260.94
Industrial Sector 1,000.67952.15888.10884.94
Total Retail Sales 3,859.193,749.543,541.833,577.49
U.S. Renewables Consumption (quadrillion Btu)
Geothermal 0.2090.2090.2080.206
Hydropowera 2.6632.4922.6462.585
Solar 0.9161.0431.2721.574
Waste Biomass 0.4870.4330.4290.434
Wind 2.5102.7623.1773.699
Wood Biomass 2.2612.2972.1712.186
Electricity Subtotalb 9.0299.2189.87310.649
Biomass-based Diesel 0.2600.2650.2580.337
Ethanol 1.1881.1991.0201.112
Biofuels Subtotal 1.4481.4641.2781.449
Otherc 0.8240.7990.6630.742
Total 11.30111.48111.81412.840

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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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