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    Gas Will Lag Renewables in Power Generation Growth: EIA

Summary

Agency also sees reduced GHG emissions in 2019, 2020.

by: Dale Lunan

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Gas Will Lag Renewables in Power Generation Growth: EIA

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said January 18 non-hydro renewables will be the fastest growing source of power generation over the next two years, surpassing natural gas by a slim margin.

In its Today in Energy report – drawn from the latest Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO), published January 15 – the agency forecasts electricity generation from utility-scale solar installations will grow by 10% this year and by 17% in 2020. Wind generation will grow by 12% and 14% over the next two years.

The share of natural gas in total power generation will climb by two percentage points by 2020, to 37% from 35% in 2018. Growth will be essentially flat in 2019, but will increase by about 3.3% in 2020 compared to 2019, STEO data projections show.

Dry natural gas production – driven by continued development of the Marcellus and Permian shale plays – will average 90.2bn ft3/day this year, compared to 83.3bn ft3/day in 2018, and will increase again to 92.2bn ft3/day in 2020.

But natural gas prices will continue to soften, and are projected to average $2.89/mn Btu at Henry Hub this year and $2.92/mn Btu in 2020, down from the 2018 average of $3.15/mn Btu.

Factoring in the new fuel use projections and anticipating a return to more typical weather patterns, the EIA is forecasting that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will fall by 1.2% in 2019 and by 0.8% in 2020, after increasing by 2.8% in 2018.