Energy-related carbon emissions expected to increase in 2021

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 309 views 

Increased economic activity and a changing fuel mix in the electric power sector in 2021 are expected to lead to a rise in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to rise by 7% to 4.9 billion metric tons this year after falling by 11% in 2020.

The EIA released Tuesday (Aug. 10) the August Short-Term Energy Outlook that shows coal-related CO2 emissions will increase by 17% in 2021 because the share of U.S. electricity generation by coal has risen this year.

“Despite significant growth in energy-related CO2 emissions as the U.S. 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.

Overall energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to rise by 1% in 2022, while coal emissions fall by 7%.

Following are some other highlights in the Short-Term Energy Outlook:

  • U.S. consumption of natural gas is projected to decline by 1% in 2021 because less electricity will be generated from natural gas. Higher natural gas prices for the electric power sector will make natural gas a less competitive electricity source.
  • Gasoline prices are expected to be an average of $3.12 per gallon in August and $2.82 per gallon in the fourth quarter of 2021. The rise in U.S. and global oil production is expected to contribute to declining gasoline prices.
  • U.S. gasoline consumption is expected to be an average of 9 million barrels per day in the second half of 2021, below the 2019 average of 9.3 million barrels per day.

“More employment and increased mobility are pushing up gasoline consumption, but many workers continuing to work from home will keep U.S. gasoline consumption below 2019 levels through 2022,” Nalley said.

Link here for the outlook.