How is the composition of fuels for electricity generation evolving in the USA?

Author: Vlastimil Vilímek | Prague on 26.02.2024

The composition of fuels for electricity generation in the United States is undergoing significant changes,

according to data analysis published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A decline in electricity generation from coal and gas-fired power plants is expected in 2023 and 2024 due to the increase in renewable energy capacity, primarily wind and solar.

These estimates are considered relatively accurate as they are updated monthly. However, actual production from both renewable and non-renewable sources may fluctuate depending on weather conditions and market dynamics, representing a major source of uncertainty in our forecasts.

In 2022, wind and solar energy accounted for 14% of total electricity generation in the USA. This share is expected to increase to 16% in 2023 and 18% in 2024.

Conversely, the share of electricity generated from coal is projected to decrease from 20% in 2022 to 17% in both 2023 and 2024.

Natural gas, which accounted for 39% of production last year, is expected to maintain a similar share in 2023 before declining to 37% in 2024.

Electricity production from renewable sources in the USA continues to grow, representing nearly a quarter of the country’s total electricity generation last year.

This growth is primarily driven by investments in new solar and wind generators.

At the end of 2022, installed solar capacity reached 73 GW, with plans to expand by 43% (32 GW) in 2023, marking the largest increase since 2016. An additional 30% increase (31 GW) is expected in 2024.

Wind capacity is expected to grow by 5% annually over the next two years.

While electricity generation from renewable sources is on the rise, coal and natural gas production is more dependent on relative costs.

Weather conditions and fuel costs are also significant factors contributing to uncertainty.

The fluctuating prices of natural gas in recent months have a significant impact on the decision-making process between using coal and natural gas for electricity generation.

Developments in natural gas prices, weather patterns, and other factors will continue to be key determinants in the dynamics of electricity generation in the United States, with renewable energy sources gaining importance in the country’s energy mix.

Thank you for taking the time to read the article.

Vlastimil Vilímek

Our primary goal is to constantly increase energy savings in the industrial supply sector.

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