EIA short-term Natural Gas Outlook

We forecast U.S. consumption of natural gas to increase in all sectors in 2022, with the largest increase in the electric power sector. We forecast the U.S. electric power sector will consume an average of 31.9 Bcf/d of natural gas in 2022, which is 3% more than in 2021. Our forecast increase occurs despite high natural gas prices in 2022, which in the past have typically encouraged more switching from natural gas to coal as an electricity generation source. The electric power sector continues to use high amounts of natural gas because coal-fired power plants are limited in their ability to act as an alternative source of electricity generation. Ongoing coal capacity retirements, limited rail capacity for fuel delivery to coal plants, and lower-than-average stocks at coal plants have all contributed to reduced coal-fired electricity generation. As a result, more natural gas has been used to meet electricity demand. We expect consumption of natural gas in the electric power sector to decline slightly by 0.5 Bcf/d (1%) in 2023 as more electric-generation capacity from renewable energy sources comes online.


1 Like