by Matt Rosenberg February 10th, 2012
Without a major shift in government policy such as extension of expiring renewable energy subsidies, or a carbon tax, coal will continue to be the predominant source for generating electricity used in the United States in 2035. This is according to the 2012 Energy Outlook – Early Release, from the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration. The report includes a data visualization reproduced below.
It shows that if policy continues on its current and expected future course – in the so-called “reference case” scenario – coal will account for 39 percent of U.S. net electricity generation in 2035 compared to 45 percent in 2010. (Net generation is the amount of power produced minus that used at the facility where it’s generated.) Natural gas would follow, accounting for 27 percent of U.S. net electricity generation in 2035, up from 24 percent in 2010. The percent of net electricity generation from renewable energy sources will rise from 10 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2035 in the EIA’s reference case scenario, with nuclear-sourced electricity declining from 20 to 18 percent of the generation mix over the same time span.
RELATED; Electricity Generation Overview, Annual Energy Outlook 2012 – Early Release