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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: September 11, 2018  |  Next Release Date: October 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 to 35% in 2019. EIA’s forecast electricity generation share from coal averages 28% in 2018 and 27% in 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 EIA expects them 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 U.S. wind generation averaged 697,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d). EIA forecasts that wind generation will rise by 8% to 756,000 MWh/d in 2018 and by 4% to 784,000 MWh/d in 2019.
  • Solar power generates less electricity in the United States than wind power, but solar power also continues to grow. EIA expects solar generation will rise from 211,000 MWh/d in 2017 to 263,000 MWh/d in 2018 (an increase of 24%) and to 289,000 MWh/d in 2019 (an increase of 10%).
  • After declining by 0.9% in 2017, EIA forecasts that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will rise by 2.3% in 2018. The increase largely reflects higher natural gas consumption because of a colder winter and a warmer summer than in 2017. Emissions are forecast to decline by 0.9% in 2019. 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
  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 0.2100.2110.2210.229
Hydropowera 2.4722.7702.5662.533
Solar 0.5690.7740.9441.039
Waste Biomass 0.5030.4820.4930.494
Wind 2.0942.3452.5432.639
Wood Biomass 2.1312.1452.1922.169
Electricity Subtotalb 7.9608.7058.9029.070
Biomass-based Diesel 0.2910.2800.3010.350
Ethanol 1.1821.1921.1921.199
Biofuels Subtotal 1.4731.4721.4951.550
Otherc 0.8010.8170.8220.814
Total 10.23310.99411.22111.434
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2,3272,3382,3712,383
Natural Gas 1,4961,4741,5871,583
Coal 1,3541,3181,2911,235
Total Energyd 5,1895,1425,2605,212

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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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