EIA Projects 16M MWh of NG Electric Generation by 2040

EIA Projects 16M MWh of NG Electric Generation by 2040

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projected in August that natural gas-fired electric power sector generation in the contiguous U.S. will increase to 1,600 million MWh by 2040, a 1.3% average annual increase. For the U.S., increasing natural gas supply will result in unexpected future growth in natural gas-fired electric generation, particularly after 2020. Total U.S. natural gas production will increase 56% from 2012 to 2040, largely because of the development of shale gas, tight gas, and offshore natural gas resources.

The three regions with the highest growth in natural gas-fired generation – SERC Reliability Corp. (SERC), ReliabilityFirst Corp. (RFC), and Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) – also have the highest overall amounts of coal-fired generation.

Coal-fired generation still grows significantly in the SERC and RFC regions, despite significant retirements of coal-fired capacity and the increased cost of building new coal-fired facilities. In the WECC region, natural gas- fired power competes with renewable sources for future electric power demand, while in the Texas Reliability Entity region, natural gas accounts for almost all the growth in new generation.

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