EIA forecast growth in electricity sales and generation from renewables

Renewable energy in Cambodia

EIA forecasts U.S. retail sales of electricity will increase by 2.8 percent in 2021, led by 5.1 percent growth in sales to the industrial sector.

Electricity sales will also grow in the commercial sector at 2.1 percent, as many workers continue working from home.

“The increase in electricity sales to the industrial sector is a strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes in the United States,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley.

Renewable energy will contribute 23 percent share of U.S. electricity generation through 2022, up from 20 percent in 2020. About 50 gigawatts of solar and wind capacity is scheduled to come online in the United States during the next 18 months, with 2022 as the first year that growth in utility solar capacity will outpace wind capacity growth.

There will be 11 percent drop in electricity generation from hydropower in California and the Northwest in 2021 because of weather conditions and a 12 percent decrease nationwide.

Global consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels will increase by about 9 million barrels per day (b/d) from 2020 to 2022, and consumption next year will surpass 2019 levels. U.S. consumption of liquid fuels will surpass 2019 levels in 2022.

U.S. gasoline prices averaged $3.06 per gallon (gal) in June—the first time U.S. gasoline prices averaged above $3.00/gal since October 2014. We expect regular-grade gasoline prices to average $2.92/gal in the rest of this year and $2.74/gal for all of 2022.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will increase while production will stay mostly level this year, leading to natural gas inventories of 3.6 trillion cubic feet in October—3 percent below the five-year average.