The new Short-Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), released September 12, projects the generation of electricity from renewables to increase significantly between 2016 and 2018, while the share of natural gas as a generating fuel will fall.  Specifically:

  • Wind generation is expected to rise from 82 gigawatts (GW) in 2016 to 96 GW in 2018, a 17% increase over two years.
  • Solar as a source of electrical generation is forecast to increase from 22 GW in 2016 to 33 GW in 2018
  • Natural gas and coal made up the largest fuel sectors for electrical generation in 2016, respectively 34 and 30%. However, in 2017, EIA projects natural gas’s share to drop to 31% and remain the same for 2-18; coal share as a fuel is expected to rise to 31% in 2017 and to 32% in 2018.

The EIA report a week after the release of a projection by a major energy industry analyst, DNV GL, that “overall energy demand will stop growing within the next 15 years – thanks to increased efficiency and slower population/productivity growth, that much of the existing demand will shift to electricity – as the transport and heating sectors are increasingly electrified, and that the electricity supply will be dominated by renewables – responsible for 85% globally.”  More on the report here.

DOE Fuel Use Projections for Electricity: Renewables Up; Natural Gas Down
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