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Agency calls for 2019 retail electricity sales to average 10.3 million MWh/d

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects retail electricity sales in the United States will rise this year before stumbling in 2019 to average 10.3 million MWh/d.

The agency, in its latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" released Oct. 10, said that total retail sales this year will climb 292,000 MWh/d to average 10.4 million MWh/d. Of this total, 38.6% will go to residential customers, 36.2% to commercial customers and 25.0% to industrial customers.

In 2019, the agency anticipates sales to residential, commercial and industrial customers will account for 37.9%, 36.4% and 25.6% of U.S. retail sales, respectively.

In terms of electric supply, the EIA said electricity production will average 11.4 million MWh/d this year before falling 1.7% in 2019 to 11.2 million MWh/d.

According to the report, coal will supply 27.8% of the U.S.'s power this year, while gas accounts for 34.8% and nuclear generation provides 19.5%. Renewable resources should supply 16.8% of the nation's power, with hydro generation averaging 765,000 MWh/d, while other renewable resources provide 1.2 million MWh/d.

In 2019, the EIA projects coal will account for 26.8% of the country's power to natural gas' share of 35.0%. The EIA anticipates nuclear generation will provide 19.5% of the nation's power during the year while renewable resources provide 17.6%.

After dropping by 0.8% in 2017, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rebound by 2.2% this year due to higher natural gas consumption because of a colder winter and a warmer summer than the year before.

The agency said emissions could then decline by 1.1% in 2019 as temperatures are likely to return to normal levels.