Energy Information Administration Details Short-Term Energy Outlook

The US Energy Information Administration released its short-term energy outlook this week, outlining the country’s energy production in 2019 and future production in 2020.

According to an article published by Power Technology, Brent crude oil prices averaged at $64 a barrel in July 2019, falling from $74 a barrel in July 2018. The EIA estimates that crude oil prices will remain stable at $64-65 a barrel in 2019-2020, while global oil inventories will increase by 100,000 barrels per day in 2019 and 300,000 barrels per day in 2020.

The EIA predicted 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 percent of the United States’ total power generation at the end of 2019, up from 34 percent in 2018, before declining slightly in 2020. Coal power will continue to decline, from 24 percent in 2019 to 20 percent in 2020.

Nuclear power will remain stable at 20 percent in 2020. Hydropower is predicted to remain stable at 7 percent in 2019 and 2020. Other renewables such as wind and solar will form 10 percent of the country’s power generation in 2019, before rising to 12 percent in 2020. The Energy Information Administration 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 percent and 7 percent lower than the previous short-term energy outlook, according to the article.

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 percent in 2019 and 0.5 percent in 2020 despite rising 2.7 percent in 2018.

“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,” said Dean Foreman, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute. “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.”