The brew of fuels used to beget electricity in a United States has altered in response to differences in a relations costs of electricity-generating technologies and, for those technologies that devour fuel, a cost of fuel. Several cases in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) uncover how projected era and ability could continue to be influenced by fuel cost patterns, quite for a cost of healthy gas. In a attraction box with low healthy gas prices, healthy gas eventually provides some-more than half of all U.S. electricity era by a mid-2040s.
Natural gas recently surpassed spark as a categorical fuel used to beget electricity in a United States. In a AEO2018 Reference case, healthy gas stays a heading source of electricity era by 2050. By 2050, healthy gas accounts for 35% of sum electricity generation, a slight boost from a 2017 share of 31%.
In a Reference case, electricity era from spark and chief gradually decrease and remove marketplace share to healthy gas and renewables. Renewable era surpasses chief by 2020 and surpasses spark by a mid-2030s as taxation credits and reduce collateral costs expostulate solar photovoltaic and breeze ability additions.
The healthy gas share of U.S. electricity era mostly depends on healthy gas prices. The cost of healthy gas delivered to electric energy plants averaged $3.47 per million British thermal units (Btu) in 2017 and in a AEO2018 Reference box is projected to be (in genuine dollar terms) $5.42 per million Btu in 2050. In a Low Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case, aloft descent costs and reduce apparatus accessibility outcome in reduction healthy gas production, and a healthy gas cost for energy plants increases to scarcely $10 per million Btu.
Conversely, in a High Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case, that has a conflicting assumptions for apparatus descent costs and availability, healthy gas prices are projected to sojourn good next $4.00 per million Btu by 2050. Relatively low healthy gas prices lead to aloft function of existent plants and to some-more healthy gas energy plant construction.
Natural gas-fired era in a High Oil and Gas Resource and Technology box is extremely aloft than in a Reference case, displacing both renewable and coal-fired generation. Because of reduce healthy gas prices, healthy gas-fired plants surpass renewables as a heading source of new ability additions, and some-more existent coal-fired era ability is retired. Nuclear-powered electricity era is also reduce in a High Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case, since about half of a stream chief energy plant swift retires by 2050.
Conversely, in a comparatively high healthy gas cost sourroundings in a Low Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case, electricity era from both renewable and coal-fired plants gains marketplace share as a healthy gas share declines. Renewable technologies turn a accepted source of electricity era in this case, leading healthy gas-fired and afterwards coal-fired plants as a primary source of era by a mid-2030s. Coal-fired era stays comparatively high since of fewer retirements and aloft function rates for existent coal-fired generating plants.
In a Low Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case, renewable era increases since of larger additions of solar photovoltaic and breeze capacity. In this box and in a Reference case, many of a new ability is powered by solar. In a Low Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case, solar and breeze yield 20% and 11% of U.S. electricity era by 2050, respectively.
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