Total retail power sales in the United States are expected to decline slightly this year, from 10.14 billion kWh per day in 2016 to 10.10 billion kWh per day in 2017, according to the latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" released Aug. 8 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retail electricity sales are likely to increase to 10.29 billion kWh per day in 2018.
U.S. retail residential sales of electricity are seen dropping from 3.85 billion kWh per day in 2016 to 3.76 billion kWh per day this year before swinging back up to 3.88 billion kWh per day in 2018.
Commercial-sector electricity sales are expected to total 3.72 billion kWh per day this year and 3.75 billion kWh per day in 2018, up from 3.71 billion kWh per day in 2016.
Retail industrial power sales are expected to rise from 2.56 billion kWh per day in 2016 to 2.59 billion kWh per day this year and 2.63 billion kWh per day in 2018.
Meanwhile, total U.S. electricity generation from utility-scale power plants averaged 11,145 GWh per day in 2016.
"Forecast U.S. generation declines by 1.2% in 2017, which mostly reflects expectations of milder temperatures in the third quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year. Forecast generation grows by 1.8% in 2018 based largely on a forecast of colder temperatures during the first quarter 2018 compared with the same period in 2017 and on the expectation of a growing economy," the EIA said.
As a result of strong natural gas prices, higher electric generation from renewables, and lower power demand, the agency expects the share of total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas will fall from an average of 34% in 2016 to 31% this year. The share of electricity generation from coal is seen rising from 30% in 2016 to almost 32% in 2017. The projected generation shares for natural gas and coal are little changed in 2018, the agency noted, averaging between 31% and 32%.
The EIA said the average U.S. residential electricity price is likely to increase to an average of 12.98 cents per kWh in 2017 and an average of 13.39 cents per kWh in 2018, compared to an average of 12.55 cents per kWh in 2016.
Energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 1.7% in 2016 and are expected to drop by another 0.3% this year before rebounding by 2.0% in 2018, depending upon changes in the weather, the economy and energy prices.