The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. electricity consumption this year to increase 2.4% over 2021, resulting primarily from increased economic activity but also from hot summer weather throughout most of the country.
According to the agency’s August 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), growth in renewable energy will meet most of the increased electricity demand this year. The United States has also consumed more natural gas to meet electricity demand so far this summer than the previous five-year average.
“This summer has been hotter in the United States than normal, even in the context of the pretty hot summers of the last few years,” said EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis. “High temperatures have contributed to more air conditioning load, which is a significant driver in our forecast for more electricity consumption this year compared to last year.”
Continued demand for natural gas to generate electricity has contributed to relatively high prices for natural gas, even as more natural gas enters the domestic market due to the June shutdown of the Freeport liquefied natural gas terminal. EIA expects U.S. residential electricity prices will be 6.1% higher in 2022, largely as a result of high natural gas prices.
Other key takeaways from the August 2022 STEO forecast include:
- EIA expects U.S. crude oil production to average 12.7 million barrels per day in 2023, which is about 70,000 barrels per day less than its July forecast. EIA’s July forecast was based on estimated domestic crude oil production averaging 11.7 million barrels per day in May 2022, but data in the Petroleum Supply Monthly show production averaged 11.6 million barrels per day for the month.
- EIA expects the United States to continue to increase its capacity to generate electricity from solar power through 2023. U.S. utility-scale solar capacity will increase by 20 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 and 24 GW in 2023, representing an addition of 31 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electric power generation in 2022 and 41 billion kWh in 2023.
The entire August 2022 STEO is available on the EIA website.