US renewables market to grow by 5% by 2021


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has issued its January edition of the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), including 2021 forecasts for the first time.

Notably, EIA forecasts renewable energy generation will grow from a 17% share of US electricity generation in 2019 to 22% in 2021, and the energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will decrease by 2.0% in 2020 and by 1.5% in 2021.

The US will continue to be a nett exporter of total crude oil and petroleum products.

Highlights from the EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook include:

  • After decreasing by 2.1% in 2019, EIA forecasts that energy-related CO2 emissions will decrease by 2.0% in 2020 and by 1.5% in 2021. Declining emissions reflect forecast declines in total US energy consumption combined with assumptions of relatively normal weather. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth, energy prices, and fuel mix.
  • EIA forecasts that Henry Hub natural gas spot prices will average $2.33 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2020, down from $2.57/MMBtu in 2019. EIA expects that natural gas prices will then increase in 2021, reaching an annual average of $2.54/MMBtu.
  • EIA expects the share of US total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants will remain relatively steady; it was 37% in 2019, and EIA forecasts it will be 38% in 2020 and 37% in 2021.
  • The nuclear share of generation, which averaged slightly more than 20% in 2019, will be slightly less than 20% by 2021, consistent with upcoming reactor retirements.

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“From being a net exporter of oil, to growing our renewable generation, the Trump Administration has created an environment for growth and prosperity in American energy,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

“While our energy production and exports continue to soar, we are simultaneously leading the world in reducing energy-related carbon emissions. Data released today by EIA projects the U.S. will continue this trend, predicting further CO2 emissions reductions in 2020 and 2021.”

Find the full Short-Term Energy Outlook for January 2020 HERE.