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EIA Forecasts Electricity Generation Through 2050

The Energy Information Administration, or EIA, recently held their annual Energy Outlook Release presentation on February 3rd. The full report is available as a PDF here. Among the many topics covered and projections made, the EIA detailed their predictions on electricity generation in the US through the year 2050.

Overall, both consumer and industrial demand for electricity will continue to rise over time. As more technology is powered by electricity, such as electric cars, computers, and personal devices like cell phones, more power will be required. The two main sources of electricity are predicted to be natural gas and renewables, followed by both nuclear and coal at 11% each. When breaking down the sources of renewables, solar takes the top spot with a predicted 47% of generation by the end of 2050, followed by wind at 34%:

Looking at electricity generation demand from a different perspective, EIA predicts coal will see the highest amount of retiring generating capacity in the US, especially before 2030. This is continuing a trend seen since 2010. Solar, wind, and oil/natural gas will see the highest rates of new generating capacity through 2050:

The EIA did recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic and the related changes in consumer behaviors added a level of uncertainty to these projections. Some of these behavioral changes may stay around, but the EIA mostly predicts as vaccines roll out and life returns to pre-COVID patterns, energy consumption will not be drastically altered.

If you would like to view the presentation, it is available on-demand via Youtube.

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