The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released their monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook for October, and the report expects to see energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to drop in 2017, following the general trend of declining emissions since reaching their peak in 2007. EIA forecasts that, due to weather factors, there will be a 2.2% increase in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2018.
EIA looks at weather-related energy demand to help determine heating degree days and cooling degree days to analyze energy consumption. For 2017, EIA predicts a return to normal temperatures, based on the previous 10 years. In 2018, heating and cooling demands are anticipated to increase 7.5% and 2.4% respectively.
With the increases expected in 2018, the energy consumption will increase the use of fuels such as natural gas, petroleum, and coal, used in power plants and/or heating, thus there will be an increase in CO2 emissions.
Increased precipitation in some areas led to increased hydropower generation in the past years. Energy generated from hydropower is expected to drop by 30 billion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2018, and increases in other renewable and nuclear generation combined are not enough to offset this decrease. If so, 2018 may be the first annual decline in electricity generation from non-carbon sources since 2012. This would add to an increase in the use of coal and natural gas use in the power sector, as well as the anticipated increase in total power generation in 2018, adding to the increased energy-related CO2 emissions for 2018.
Further information can be found in EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook.