U.S. Power Sector Emissions to Rebound After Falling For Three Years
Greenhouse gas emissions from America’s generation of electrical power are up by 2.1%, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports, reversing three consecutive years of declining emissions from the sector.
The reason: a 1% rise in coal’s share of power generation this year, Utility Dive reports, citing the data in the EIA’s latest Short Term Energy Outlook.
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“As gas prices have risen, coal generation has staged a comeback,” the outlet writes. Coal’s share of generation will rise from 30% last year to 31% in 2017, while EIA predicts gas will drop from 34% in 2016 to about 31% this year.
Non-hydro renewables were also forecast to increase their market share by the same modest 1% this year, from 8% of U.S. electrical supply in 2016 to an estimated 9% this year and forecast 10% next.
The agency also downgraded its expectations for utility-scale solar—under threat of a crippling proposed tariff on imported solar PV modules and cells. The EIA forecast the addition of 31 gigawatts of solar generating capacity this year and next, a solid 41% growth but still below the 50% it had looked for in a similar assessment a year ago. By the end of 2018, it expects utilities to be generating 31 GW of solar power.
Wind development will grow more slowly in the United States over the same two-year period—by roughly 17%—but continue to substantially lead solar in capacity, reaching 96 GW by the end of 2018.