Coal is expected to generate less electricity in the U.S. during the summer, with the anticipated increase in the usage of natural gas and renewables for electricity generation, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Thursday in a statement.
The EIA said it estimates that power plants will generate 1,168 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in the U.S. during the summer months of June through August this year, a 2% drop from the summer of 2018.
The administration said it forecasts U.S. coal-fired power plants will generate 289 million MWh of electricity this summer, which is 13% less than the summer of 2018. Furthermore, U.S. natural gas-fired power plants are expected to generate 2.5% more than last summer estimated at 472 million MWh from June through August 2019.
Out the mix of energy sources for the U.S.' electricity generation over the summer, natural gas is anticipated to provide the largest share at 40%, up from 39% last summer, while coal is forecast to provide 25%, according to EIA.
During last year's summer season, 9% of electricity generation mix came from non-hydro renewable sources, which include wind, biomass, geothermal, and utility-scale solar, the EIA said, adding that another 6% came from hydroelectric generation.
For the summer of 2019, the EIA said it estimates the share of non-hydro renewables will be 9%, and the share of hydroelectric generation is forecast at 7%.
Within non-hydro renewables, wind is expected to provide the largest share of generation this summer with 6%, according to the EIA.
"On an annual basis, wind is expected to provide 8% of the national total, slightly higher than hydro’s share at 7%," the statement said.
"If realized, this would be the first time hydro did not provide the most generation of any other renewable resource," it added.
By Ovunc Kutlu