(Reuters) – U.S. power consumption will rise in 2022 and 2023 as the economy grows, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday.
The EIA projected power demand will climb to 3,995 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2022 and 4,040 billion kWh in 2023 from 3,930 billion kWh in 2021.
That compares with a coronavirus-depressed eight-year low of 3,856 billion kWh in 2020 and an all-time high of 4,003 billion kWh in 2018.
EIA projected 2022 power sales would ease to 1,468 billion kWh for residential consumers, but rise to 1,358 billion kWh for commercial customers as more people return to work in offices and 1,022 billion kWh for industrials.
That compares with current all-time highs of 1,477 billion kWh in 2021 for residential consumers, 1,382 billion kWh in 2018 for commercial customers and 1,064 billion kWh in 2000 for industrials.
EIA said natural gas’ share of power generation will slide from 37% in 2021 to 35% in 2022 and 2023 as gas prices rise. Coal’s share, meanwhile, will hold at 23% in 2022, the same as 2021, before sliding to 21% in 2023 as renewable output rises.
The percentage of renewable generation will rise from 20% in 2021 to 22% in 2022 and 23% in 2023. Nuclear power will hold at 20% in 2022 and 2023, the same as 2021.
The agency projected 2022 natural gas sales would rise to 13.55 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) for residential consumers, 9.35 bcfd for commercial customers and 23.16 bcfd for industrials, but fall to 29.89 bcfd for power generation.
That compares with all-time highs of 14.32 bcfd in 1996 for residential consumers, 9.63 bcfd in 2019 for commercial customers, 23.80 bcfd in 1973 for industrials and 31.75 bcfd in2020 for power generation.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Aurora Ellis)