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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: March 7, 2017  |  Next Release Date: April 11, 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 capacity additions in the forecast will bring total wind capacity to 95 GW by the end of 2018.
  • On a percentage basis, solar power is expected to be the fastest growing renewable energy source in the forecast period, with total utility-scale capacity increasing by 44% from the end of 2016 to 31 GW at the end of 2018. With that level of growth, solar is expected to account for 1.4% of total utility-scale electricity generation in 2018.
  • After declining by 1.9% in 2016, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to decrease by 0.2% in 2017 and then increase by 1.6% 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 0.213 0.230 0.235 0.236
Hydropowera 2.321 2.477 2.665 2.549
Solar 0.427 0.588 0.778 0.936
Waste Biomass 0.522 0.526 0.525 0.529
Wind 1.812 2.152 2.289 2.458
Wood Biomass 2.043 1.953 1.934 1.942
Electricity Subtotalb 7.332 7.885 8.406 8.625
Biomass-based Diesel 0.215 0.289 0.307 0.330
Ethanol 1.148 1.186 1.190 1.194
Biofuels Subtotal 1.363 1.475 1.490 1.524
Otherc 0.776 0.798 0.811 0.818
Total 9.471 10.160 10.706 10.967
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2295 2314 2315 2345
Natural Gas 1473 1486 1452 1510
Coal 1480 1345 1369 1365
Total Energyd 5259 5157 5147 5231

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