The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the full content of the Annual Energy Outlook 2014, which predicts an increasing use of natural gas for U.S. power generation capacity.
According to the EIA’s reference case, natural gas will surpass coal as the nation’s largest source of energy for electricity generation by 2035. Additional retirement of existing coal-fired and nuclear generating capacity could result in natural gas-fired generation more quickly, according to the agency.
The EIA also predicts a growth in the power generation capacity provided by renewable energy sources. The agency stated the a growth in electricity generation from renewable sources tends to be largely policy-driven in the first decade of the agency’s projection, but as natural gas prices rise and the capital costs of renewable technologies decrease over time, renewable power generation becomes more competitive and accounts for 16 percent of the nation’s total power generation in 2040 in its reference case.
The increase of natural gas and renewable sources for power helps stabilize energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) as well, according to the EIA. In the administration’s reference case, energy-related CO2 emissions remain below the 2005 level in every year through 2040.
The full report is available for download from the EIA’s website.