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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: September 11, 2018  |  Next Release Date: October 10, 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 2018 and to 35% in 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 is forecast to be 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2019. 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 is forecast to 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 756,000 MWh/d in 2018 and by 4% to 784,000 MWh/d in 2019.
  • Solar power generates less electricity in the United States than wind power, but solar power also continues to grow. EIA expects solar generation will rise from 211,000 MWh/d in 2017 to 263,000 MWh/d in 2018 (an increase of 24%) and to 289,000 MWh/d in 2019 (an increase of 10%).

U.S. electricity consumption

U.S. electricity generation

U.S. electricity prices

U.S. Electricity Summary
  2016201720182019
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.5512.9012.9713.33
Commercial Sector 10.4310.6810.7210.80
Industrial Sector 6.766.917.007.07
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.112.082.092.10
Natural Gas 2.873.383.393.42
Residual Fuel Oil 8.4610.9712.8114.06
Distillate Fuel Oil 10.8213.2616.5017.27
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.3863.3093.2133.066
Natural Gas 3.7663.4873.8713.913
Nuclear 2.2012.2052.2202.186
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.7320.8220.7610.752
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.9331.0611.1581.197
Total Generation 11.13810.99911.35011.236
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.863.783.983.91
Commercial Sector 3.743.703.753.74
Industrial Sector 2.672.592.602.63
Total Retail Sales 10.2810.0910.3510.30
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 1.72.62.72.6
Manufacturing Production Index -0.71.52.52.8
Cooling Degree Days 4.7-8.46.6-10.0
Heating Degree Days -5.1-1.311.3-1.7
Number of Households 0.41.11.11.1

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U.S. electricity consumption XLSX PNG
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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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