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U.S. Power Use To Hit Record This Year: EIA

U.S. power usage is set to hit a new high this year due to increased economic activity and a particularly hot summer, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.

The EIA forecasts that 2022 power demand in the United States will reach 4.044 trillion kWh, up from 3.941 trillion kWh last year and up from an 8-year Covid-induced low of 3.856 trillion kWh in 2020. The EIA sees total power demand in the United States dipping slightly next year to 4.004 trillion kWh.

The record for power usage in the United States was set in 2018, when power consumption reached 4.003 trillion kWh—but 2022 figures, the EIA says, should break that record.

The breakdown of this year’s power consumption is forecast to be 1.514 trillion kWh from residential customers, 1.376 trillion kWh from commercial customers, and 1.011 trillion kWh from industry.

As for the mix of this power, natural gas’ share power generation pie rose to 39% this year, up from 37% last year, although the EIA sees this dropping back to 37% in 2-2023. Coal’s share of the total is forecast to finish out the year, accounting for 20% of the total, from 23% last year, with the EIA seeing even more slackening next year, to 19%.

Renewables are expected to finish out this year at 22%, before rising to 24% next year, while nuclear power is expected to drop to 19% of the total this year, from 20% last year. Nuclear power is expected to resume its 20% share of the total power mix in 2023.

The EIA’s STEO is expected the highest electricity prices this winter to be in ISO New England, where on-peak wholesale power prices will average more than $200 per megawatt hour next month—up 25% from January 2022 due to pipeline constraints delivering nat gas to the area, meaning that wholesale electricity prices will likely be set to pricey LNG imports or fuel oil.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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