EIA: Natural gas, renewables to continue upward movement

Natural gas rig

Natural gas and renewable energy will continue to increase in U.S. power generation over time, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which announced an early release version of its Annual Energy Outlook 2013 on Dec. 5.

The report predicts that relatively low natural gas prices, facilitated by growing shale gas production, will spur growth in the electric power sectors, particularly over the next 15 years. Although natural gas is expected to continue capturing a growing share of total electricity generation, natural gas consumption by power plants will not increase as sharply as generation because new plants are very efficient, according to the EIA. After accounting for 16 percent of total generation in 2000, the natural gas share of generation rose to 24 percent in 2010 and is expected to continue increasing, to 27 percent in 2020 and 30 percent in 2040.

The share of generation from renewables is projected to grow from 13 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2040. Electricity generation from solar and, to a lesser extent, wind energy sources, is expected to grow as recent cost declines make them more economical.

Click here to download the Annual Energy Outlook 2013.

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