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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: June 12, 2018  |  Next Release Date: July 10, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Renewables and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  • 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 2019. The forecast electricity generation share from coal averages 28% in 2018 and 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 are expected 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 wind generation averaged 697,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d). EIA forecasts that wind generation will rise to 746,000 MWh/d in 2018 and to 777,000 MWh/d in 2019. If factors such as precipitation and snowpack remain as forecast, conventional hydropower is forecast to generate 752,000 MWh/d in 2019, which would make it the first year that wind generation exceeds hydropower generation in the United States.
  • After declining by 0.9% in 2017, EIA forecasts that energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will rise by 1.1% in 2018 and by 0.2% in 2019. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth, energy prices, and fuel mix.
U.S. Renewables & CO2 Emissions Summary
  2016201720182019
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 0.2100.2110.2250.229
Hydropowera 2.4722.7702.6452.559
Solar 0.5690.7740.9281.095
Waste Biomass 0.5030.4820.6190.709
Wind 2.1132.3672.5342.641
Wood Biomass 2.1312.1452.1752.164
Electricity Subtotalb 7.9838.7329.0839.366
Biomass-based Diesel 0.2910.2790.3230.361
Ethanol 1.1821.1891.2051.215
Biofuels Subtotal 1.4731.4671.5261.576
Otherc 0.8010.8170.8210.824
Total 10.25611.01611.43111.766
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2,3272,3382,3532,380
Natural Gas 1,4951,4721,5761,575
Coal 1,3541,3181,2571,240
Total Energyd 5,1885,1405,1985,207

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