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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: October 11, 2017  |  Next Release Date: November 7, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Renewables and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  • U.S. wind electricity generating capacity at the end of 2016 was 82 gigawatts (GW). EIA expects wind capacity additions to bring total wind capacity to 88 GW by the end of 2017 and to 96 GW by the end of 2018.
  • Total U.S. utility-scale solar electricity generating capacity at the end of 2016 was 22 GW. EIA expects solar capacity additions to bring total utility-scale solar capacity to 27 GW by the end of 2017 and to more than 30 GW by the end of 2018. Generation from small-scale solar (installations less than 1 megawatt) is expected to increase by 28% in 2017 and by 23% in 2018.
  • After declining by 1.7% in 2016, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to decrease by 0.6% in 2017 and then to increase by 2.2% in 2018. Energy-related CO2 emissions are affected by changes in weather, economic growth, and energy prices.
U.S. Renewables & CO2 Emissions Summary
  2015 2016 2017 2018
a Conventional hydroelectric power only. Hydroelectricity generated by pumped storage is not included in renewable energy.
b Includes electricity and heat generation
c Other renewables includes biofuels production losses and co-products
d Includes electric power sector use of geothermal energy and non-biomass waste
U.S. Renewables Consumption (quadrillion Btu)
Geothermal 0.212 0.226 0.229 0.236
Hydropowera 2.321 2.477 2.772 2.488
Solar 0.426 0.587 0.778 0.883
Waste Biomass 0.518 0.522 0.516 0.520
Wind 1.776 2.112 2.291 2.396
Wood Biomass 2.071 1.959 1.963 1.946
Electricity Subtotalb 7.311 7.867 8.530 8.442
Biomass-based Diesel 0.215 0.291 0.315 0.323
Ethanol 1.148 1.182 1.185 1.215
Biofuels Subtotal 1.363 1.473 1.502 1.538
Otherc 0.776 0.801 0.812 0.823
Total 9.450 10.140 10.848 10.803
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2295 2321 2334 2357
Natural Gas 1473 1485 1438 1511
Coal 1480 1354 1358 1372
Total Energyd 5260 5172 5141 5252

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