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EIA: gas fired electricity expected to exceed coal

Published by , Digital Assistant Editor
World Coal,

EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016) Reference case has outlined expectations that natural gas-fired electricity generation will exceed coal-fired electricity generation by 2022. Generation from renewables is expected to overtake coal-fired generation by 2029.

Documented in the AEO2016 Reference case, the natural gas-fired share of generation declines temporarily after 2016, then resumes rising in about 2020 and once again exceeds the coal-fired share in 2022 and throughout the rest of the AEO2016 projection to 2040.

EIA's analysis of the US electricity market is divided into 22 regions, which in this discussion are further reduced to 9 regions above. The current generation mix across these regions varies.

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2016.

Certain regions that are home to US coal production, the Midwest/Mid-Atlantic, Southwest/Rockies, and Northern Plains, tend to have greater reliance on coal-fired electricity generation. These regions have among the highest CO2 reduction requirements and consequently are expected to have the largest shifts in their generation mix.

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2016.

In the Midwest/Mid-Atlantic region, a large decline in coal generation is offset by an increase in natural gas generation, which is expected to result in a 26% decline in the region's emission rate.

The Southwest/Rockies region is projected to see an expansion of renewables generation that is nearly twice as large as the decline in coal generation. Other regions, such as Texas, the Southern Plains, and the Southeast, rely more on natural gas-fired generation.

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2016.

California, with almost no coal generation, is expected to see strong growth in renewable generation by 2030. Likewise, the Northwest region is expected to increase renewables generation as well. The Northeast shows an increase in both natural gas and renewables generation by 2030, and a small decline in nuclear generation due to planned retirements.

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