EIA expects 7% increase in energy-sector CO2 emissions

18 August 2021

Increased economic activity and a changing fuel mix in the electric power sector in 2021 will lead to a significant increase in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the USA this year, according to the Energy Information Administration’s August edition of  ‘Short term Energy Outlook’. After decreasing by 11% in 2020, US energy-related CO2 emissions will increase by 7% to reach 4.9 billion metric tons this year.

EIA forecasts coal-related CO2 emissions will increase by 17% in 2021 because the share of U.S. electricity generated by coal has increased significantly this year.

“Despite significant growth in energy-related COemissions as the US economy opens up, we don’t see these emissions returning to pre-pandemic levels, at least in the short term,” said EIA acting administrator Steve Nalley.

EIA expects overall energy-related CO2 emissions to increase an additional 1% in 2022, and emissions from coal to decrease 7%.

US consumption of natural gas will decrease 1.0% in 2021, largely owing to their being less electricity generated from natural gas. IEA forecasts an 87% increase this year in delivered natural gas prices for the electric power sector, and that these higher prices will make natural gas a less competitive electricity source.

The full ‘Short-Term Energy Outlook’ is available on the EIA website.

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