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EIA Predicts More Electricity from Natural Gas, Renewables

Linda Hardesty

Growth in energy production is outstripping growth in energy consumption and that will lead to a decline in net imports over the period 2011-2040, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2013.”

The growth in domestic supply is largely attributed to crude oil production from shale and other tight formations. The high supply levels of natural gas are resulting in relatively low natural gas prices, which in turn spurs increased natural gas use in electricity generation.

The report’s key findings, include:

  • Crude oil production, especially from tight oil plays, rises sharply over the next decade. Domestic oil production will rise to 7.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, up from less than 6 million bpd in 2011.
  • The United States becomes a net exporter of natural gas earlier than estimated a year ago. Because quickly rising natural gas production outpaces domestic consumption, the United States will become a net exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2016 and a net exporter of total natural gas (including via pipelines) in 2020.
  • Renewable fuel use grows at a much faster rate than fossil fuel use. The share of electricity generation from renewables grows to 16 percent in 2040 from 13 percent in 2011.
  • Net imports of energy decline. The decline reflects increased domestic production of both petroleum and natural gas, increased use of biofuels, and lower demand resulting from the adoption of new vehicle fuel efficiency standards and rising energy prices. The net import share of total U.S. energy consumption falls to 9 percent in 2040 from 19 percent in 2011.


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