U.S. electricity use to rise in 2021 as governments ease shutdowns – EIA
(Reuters) – Electricity use in the United States will rise 2.0% this year as state and local governments ease coronavirus lockdowns, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its outlook on Tuesday short-term energy sources (STEO).
Electricity demand projected by the EIA will reach 3,879 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2021 and 3,935 billion kWh in 2022, up from an 11-year low due to the coronavirus depression of 3,802 billion kWh in 2020. This compares to an all-time high of 4,003 billion kWh. in 2018.
The EIA predicted electricity sales in 2021 to reach 1,503 billion kWh for residential consumers, which would be a record as continued lockdowns force more people to work from home, 1,294 billion kWh for commercial customers and 945 billion kWh for manufacturers.
This compares to historic highs of 1,469 billion kWh in 2018 for residential consumers, 1,382 billion kWh in 2018 for commercial customers and 1,064 billion kWh in 2000 for industrial customers.
The EIA said the share of natural gas in power generation will increase from 39% in 2020 to 36% in 2021 and 35% in 2022 as gas prices rise, while the share of coal will rise from 20% in 2020 to 23% in 2021, before dropping to 22% in 2022.
The percentage of nuclear production will increase from 21% in 2020 to 20% in 2021 and 19% in 2022, while renewable energies will increase from 20% in 2020 to 21% in 2021 and 23% in 2022.
The EIA predicted that natural gas sales in 2021 would reach 13.29 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) for residential consumers, 9.25 bcfd for commercial customers and 23.25 bcfd for industrialists, but would drop to 29.39 bcfd for the production of electricity.
This compares to historic highs of 14.36 billion cubic feet per day in 1996 for residential consumers, 9.63 billion cubic feet per day in 2018 for commercial customers, 23.80 billion cubic feet per day in 1973. for industrialists and 31.74 billion cubic feet per day in 2020 for electricity production.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino