The U.S.' electricity generation mix will depend highly on natural gas prices in the future, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Wednesday.
Natural gas accounted for 34 percent of total electricity generation in the U.S. last year, the EIA said, adding that it projects this share of gas to grow to 40 percent by 2032 and then remain between 39 percent and 40 percent up to 2050.
Electricity generation shares from coal and nuclear in the country, on the other hand, will gradually decline as those energy resources become less cost competitive compared to natural gas and renewables, the EIA said.
Electricity generation from renewables surpasses nuclear by 2020 and coal by the mid-2020s as "tax credits and lower capital costs drive solar photovoltaic and wind capacity additions," according to the statement.
By the year 2050, "natural gas-fired plants exceed renewables as the leading source of new capacity additions, and more existing coal-fired and nuclear-powered generation capacity is retired," it added.
Thus, the share of natural gas in U.S. electricity generation highly depends on gas prices, according to the EIA.
"Relatively low natural gas prices lead to higher utilization of existing plants and to more natural gas power plant construction," the administration said in the statement.
The price of natural gas delivered to electric power plants in the U.S. averaged $3.42 per million British thermal units (Btu) in 2018, and is estimated to average $5.36 per million Btu in 2050, it added.
By Ovunc Kutlu