U.S. EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2018 Now Available… And it rocks!

U.S. EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2018 Now Available… And it rocks!


Guest post by David Middleton

Some people look forward to the Oscars, others look forward to the Super Bowl… I look forward to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO)… Kind of like Navin Johnson looked forward to the new phone books…

Well… AEO 2018 was no disappointment!

Full Release Date: February 6, 2018  |  Next Release Date:  February 2019 |   full report

Annual Energy Outlook 2018

presents yearly modeled projections
and analysis of energy topics

EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook provides modeled projections of domestic energy markets through 2050, and it includes cases with different assumptions regarding macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. Strong domestic production coupled with relatively flat energy demand allow the United States to become a net energy exporter over the projection period in most cases. In the Reference case, natural gas consumption grows the most on an absolute basis, and nonhydroelectric renewables grow the most on a percentage basis.

Even though Obama is out and energy dominance is in, they still feel the need to throw bone to wind & solar:

In the Reference case, natural gas consumption grows the most on an absolute basis, and nonhydroelectric renewables grow the most on a percentage basis.

After downloading the PowerPoint and some of the Excel workbooks, I put together a summary of some key points.

Primary Energy Consumption: Fossil Fuels Dominate the Future!


Figure 1. U.S. primary energy consumption 2017-2050. “Other renewable energy” includes wind, offshore wind, solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal and several other bit players.

While it may be true that “nonhydroelectric renewables (renewables in the table below) grow the most on a percentage basis,” growing from 7% to 12% ain’t much to brag about.  Units are in quadrillion Btu (quad) and percent of total consumption:

2017 (quad) 2017 (%) 2050 (quad) 2050 (%)
Petroleum 37.5 38% 37.4 34%
Natural Gas 27.6 28% 35.6 32%
Coal 14.2 14% 13.2 12%
Nuclear 8.3 8% 6.6 6%
Renewables 6.4 7% 13.5 12%
Hydro 2.7 3% 2.8 3%
Biofuels 1.5 2% 1.5 1%
Total 98.2 100% 110.6 100%

Note that coal consumption barely declines, petroleum stays about the same and natural gas skyrockets (86’ing the Clean Power Plan was a most excellent move by President Trump).  When I lump fossil fuels together, things really get cool:

2017 (%) 2050 (%)
Fossil Fuels 81% 78%
Nuclear 8% 6%
Renewables 7% 12%
Hydro 3% 3%
Biofuels 2% 1%
Total 100% 100%

In other good news, the U.S. will continue to “green the planet” at a decent pace:


Figure 2. Projected energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (2017-2050).

2017 Gt CO2 2050 Gt CO2
Petroleum 2.344 2.156
Natural Gas 1.442 1.860
Coal 1.334 1.250
Total 5.120 5.266

Electricity Generation: Natural Gas Baby!


Figure 3. Projected mix of generation technologies (2017-2050). Naturally, my bet is on “high oil and gas resource and technology.” “Renewables” includes hydroelectric.

I used the data browser to break wind, offshore wind, solar PV and solar thermal out of the renewables category and found the following:


Figure 4. Note the total lack of growth of offshore wind, solar thermal and onshore wind after 2022.


Figure 5.  Area plot of the above.


Figure 6. Area plot as fraction of 100%.

With virtually no installations of offshore wind power over the next 33 years, it looks like most Atlantic and Pacific coast governors will be disappointed.


“President Trump Vows to Usher in Golden Era of American Energy Dominance”

Special Feature: Milton Friedman on Energy in 1978

Same as it ever was…

Same as it ever was…

Just as true today as it was 40 years ago.  Milton Friedman…Truly… Once in a lifetime (H/T to The Talking Heads).

Superforest,Climate Change

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