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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: May 9, 2017  |  Next Release Date: June 6, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Renewables and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  • Wind energy capacity at the end of 2016 was 81 gigawatts (GW). EIA expects wind capacity additions in the forecast will bring total wind capacity to 102 GW by the end of 2018.
  • Total utility-scale solar generation capacity is forecast to increase by 48% from 21 GW at the end of 2016 to 32 GW at the end of 2018. Utility-scale solar electricity generation is forecast to account for more than 1% of total utility-scale electricity generation in 2018.
  • After declining by 1.7% in 2016, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to decrease by 0.7% in 2017 and then increase by 2.3% in 2018. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to 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 0.230 0.236
Hydropowera 2.321 2.477 2.851 2.604
Solar 0.426 0.587 0.776 0.949
Waste Biomass 0.518 0.522 0.532 0.534
Wind 1.812 2.155 2.298 2.459
Wood Biomass 2.071 1.959 1.935 1.945
Electricity Subtotalb 7.353 7.918 8.574 8.701
Biomass-based Diesel 0.215 0.289 0.292 0.312
Ethanol 1.148 1.186 1.188 1.190
Biofuels Subtotal 1.363 1.475 1.483 1.502
Otherc 0.776 0.796 0.817 0.814
Total 9.492 10.190 10.877 11.017
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2295 2320 2324 2348
Natural Gas 1473 1485 1445 1508
Coal 1480 1354 1355 1384
Total Energyd 5259 5171 5135 5252

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