US Energy Information Administration predicts US energy future

Source: By Jack Unwin, Power Technology • Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019

US Energy Information AdministrationThe EIA predicts that natural gas will forms 37% of the US’ energy in 2019. Credit: Southern Company.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its short-term energy outlook (SEO) on 6 August, outlining the country’s energy production in 2019 and future production in 2020.

According to the EIA, Brent crude oil prices averaged at $64 a barrel in July 2019, falling from $74 a barrel in July 2018. It estimates that crude oil prices will remain stable at $64-65 a barrel in 2019-2020, whilst global oil inventories will increase by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2019 and 300,000 bpd in 2020.

The EIA stated that US dry natural gas production will average 91 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2019, a rise of 7.6 Bcf/d from 2018. It also predicts that production will reach 92.5 Bcf/d in 2020.

In terms of total power generation, the EIA expects that the energy share from natural gas plants will rise to 37% of the US’ total power generation at the end of 2019, up from 34% in 2018, before declining slightly in 2020. Coal power will continue to fall, from 24% in 2019 to 20% in 2020.

Nuclear power will remain stable at 20% in 2020, along with hydropower also staying the same at 7% in 2019 and 2020. Other renewables such as wind and solar will form 10% of the country’s power generation in 2019, before rising to 12% in 2020. EIA expects wind power to overtake hydropower as the leading renewable energy source by the end of this year.

Wind energy should produce an average of 295 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2019 and 335 billion kWh in 2020, estimates that are 4% and 7% lower than the previous EIA SEO.

Due to the decrease in the use of coal and increased use of natural gas and renewables, CO2 emissions from energy are expected to fall by 2.3% in 2019 and 0.5% in 2020 having risen by 2.7% in 2018.

American Petroleum Institute chief economist Dean Foreman said: “The EIA’s latest outlook further demonstrates how the growing abundance of low-cost natural gas unlocked by the U.S. energy revolution has fundamentally transformed the power sector to the benefit of households and businesses.

“Moreover, increasing use of clean natural gas for electricity generation has enabled the U.S. to achieve world-leading reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, which are at their lowest level in a generation.”