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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: November 6, 2018  |  Next Release Date: December 11, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Renewables and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  • EIA expects total U.S. solar generation will rise from 212,000 Megawatt hours per day (MWh/d) in 2017 to 268,000 MWh/d in 2018 (an increase of 27%) and to 303,000 MWh/d in 2019 (an increase of 13%). In recent years, the industry has seen a shift from fixed-tilt solar PV systems to tracking systems. Although tracking systems are more expensive than fixed-tilt systems, revenue from the additional electricity generated by following the path of the sun across the sky often exceeds the increased cost.
  • After declining by 0.8% in 2017, EIA forecasts that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will rise by 2.5% in 2018. This increase largely reflects higher natural gas consumption in 2018 because of a colder winter and a warmer summer than in 2017. EIA expects emissions to decline by 1.3% in 2019 because temperatures are forecast to return to normal. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth, energy prices, and fuel mix.

U.S. renewable energy supply

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth

U.S. Renewables & CO2 Emissions Summary
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
dIncludes electric power sector use of geothermal energy and non-biomass waste
U.S. Renewables Consumption (quadrillion Btu)
Geothermal 0.2100.2100.2230.229
Hydropowera 2.4722.7672.6102.552
Solar 0.5690.7740.9641.087
Waste Biomass 0.5030.4950.4970.490
Wind 2.0942.3462.5682.673
Wood Biomass 2.1312.1872.2192.156
Electricity Subtotalb 7.9608.7599.0229.158
Biomass-based Diesel 0.2910.2800.2900.350
Ethanol 1.1821.1921.1931.201
Biofuels Subtotal 1.4731.4731.4841.551
Otherc 0.8010.8210.8240.816
Total 10.23311.05311.33111.526
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2,3262,3422,3792,387
Natural Gas 1,4941,4741,6101,622
Coal 1,3541,3191,2781,190
Total Energyd 5,1865,1475,2785,210

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Related Figures
U.S. renewable energy supply XLSX PNG
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth XLSX PNG
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