Energy consumption to inch up

Residential sales of elec­tricity in 2014 are expected to average 2.1 ­percent more than in 2013, ­according to the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In order to meet the growing demand, EIA expects U.S. generation to grow by 1.1 percent from 2013 to an ­average 11,200 gigawatt-hours per day. Natural gas prices have crept higher than 2013 prices, causing the average U.S. share of natural gas-fired ­generation to fall to 23.5 percent in the first quarter, compared with 25.6 percent during the same quarter last year. The share of coal-fired ­generation picked up most of the decline, ­rising from 40 percent during the first ­quarter of 2013 to 42.5 percent during the first quarter of 2014, according to EIA.

“EIA projects total coal consump­tion growth of 2.5 percent in 2014 because of higher electricity demand and power sector natural gas prices 22 percent above their 2013 level,” EIA reported. “Total coal consump­tion is projected to fall by 2.7 ­percent in 2015, as retirements of coal power plants rise in response to the implemen­tation of [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, electricity sales growth slows to 0.4 percent and natural gas prices fall relative to coal prices.”

Renewable electricity and heat generation is expected to grow by 2.1 percent in 2014, driven by non-hydro renewables (hydropower generation is expected to fall by 2.8 percent in 2014). Wind power capacity will increase by 7.8 percent in 2014 and 15.3 percent in 2015, according to EIA estimates, contributing 4.6 ­percent of total electricity generation in 2015. 

Source: CFC Solutions News Bulletin