The EIA recently released the July Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), which forecasts a 2.2% decrease in CO2 emissions in 2019. Most of the forecast decrease is due to fewer emissions from coal consumption.
In the first quarter of 2019, EIA estimates that U.S. energy-related emissions totaled 1,367 million metric tons (MMmt), which is nearly equal to 2018.
For the rest of the year, EIA expects that mild forecast temperatures will keep energy demand and resulting energy-related carbon emissions below 2018. These expectations for weather are based on forecasts produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.
EIA forecasts that CO2 emissions from coal will decrease by 169 MMmt in 2019, the largest decrease in CO2 emissions from coal since 2015. Conversely, EIA projects CO2 emissions from natural gas to increase by 53 MMmt. Both changes are largely due to forecast changes in the electricity generation mix as natural gas continues to grow as the most prevalent electricity generation fuel.
As the electric power sector consumes close to 92% of the coal used in the United States, expectations for both overall lower electricity demand and a lower share of coal-fired electricity this summer lead EIA to forecast lower coal CO2 emissions.
EIA also predicts that CO2 emissions from petroleum consumption, will be virtually non-existent in 2019.
To read the full July EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook Report, visit: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/.