Renewable energy sources represent a sliver in electricity generation, but their share is growing—especially wind, according to federal energy officials.
In its Short-Term Energy Outlook released Feb. 12, the Energy Information Administration shows wind's share of generation will exceed hydropower in 2019 for the first time ever. In 2019 and 2020, hydro will average slightly less than 7 percent of total generation, according to the report.
Meanwhile, "EIA forecasts that wind generation will rise from 756,000 MWh/d in 2018 to 859,000 Mwh/d in 2019 (a share of 8 percent). Wind generation is further projected to rise to 964,000 MWh/d (a share of 9 percent) by 2020."
Across the board, renewables are inching higher. Wind, solar and other non-hydro renewables will provide 11 percent of electricity generation in 2019 and 13 percent in 2020—up from 10 percent last year, said EIA.
Natural gas will account for the largest share of utility-scale electric generation: 36 percent in 2019 and 37 percent in 2020. And coal's share in the fuel mix will continue its downward creep: an average of 26 percent this year and 24 percent in 2020.
Carbon dioxide emissions rose slightly in 2018, largely reflecting "increased weather-related natural gas consumption" for electric heat during a colder winter and cooling during a warmer summer than in 2017, EIA said.
EIA expects emissions to decrease by 1.3 percent and by 0.5 percent in 2020 because of forecasts of near-normal temperatures. "Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth, energy prices, and fuel mix," according to EIA.