Circle your calendar for 2019, which could be a historic year for electricity. America's wind generation is expected to outpace hydropower generation for the first time.
In its latest
Short-Term Energy Outlook (PDF), the Energy Information Administration forecasts wind generation will increase to 741,000 megawatt-hours per day this year and 766,000 MWh/d next year.
"If factors such as precipitation and snowpack remain as forecast, conventional hydropower is forecast to generate 747,000 MWh/d in 2019, making it the first year that wind generation would exceed hydropower generation in the United States," EIA said in its May 8 report.
EIA sees an increase of 8.3 gigawatts of wind capacity this year followed by another 8 GW next. That would have wind providing 6.4 percent and 6.9 percent of the nation's total utility-scale electricity generation in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
"The generation share of hydropower was 7 percent in 2017 and is forecast to fall slightly below that level" in both 2018 and 2019, EIA said.
Of course, that still pales in comparison to natural gas, which EIA expects will account for 34 percent of utility-scale electricity generation both this year and next. At the same time, coal's share is forecast to be 29 percent each year, down from 30 percent in 2017.
EIA also forecasts coal production will fall 3 percent this year, to 751 million short tons, which it said "is largely attributable to a forecast decline of 4 percent in domestic coal consumption in 2018, with most of the decline expected to be in the electric power sector."
Meanwhile, if you think gasoline prices are high now, just wait. EIA sees a gallon of regular hitting a summer peak of $2.97 next month. That should ease—but not by much—in September, when an average of $2.86 is forecast. EIA noted that spot prices for Brent crude averaged $72 a barrel in April, up $6 from March, and marking the first time since November 2014 that the average monthly price has been above $70.