US energy emissions to fall in 2017 but rise next year

The US is expected to see a fall in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions this year, continuing the trend seen in 2015 and 2016. However, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The US is expected to see a fall in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions this year, continuing the trend seen in 2015 and 2016.

However, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts a 2.2% increase next year, with weather being a key factor.

Its report suggests by the end of 2017, annual heating degree days are expected to be higher than last year and cooling days are forecast to be lower.

In 2018, both heating and cooling demand are expected to rise, by 7.5% and 2.4% respectively.

These increases are expected to drive more energy usage for heating – fuelled by natural gas, electricity and other fuels – and more energy consumption for air conditioning – fuelled mostly by electricity.

Since around 63% of the power generated in the US is from coal and natural gas, increases in electricity use also mean more emissions from coal and natural gas power plants.

Next year, energy-related CO2 emissions are expected to increase for each fossil fuel – petroleum, natural gas and coal – by a total of 111 million metric tons.