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Government agency analysis forecasts unprecedented future for US energy sector — here's what we know

The U.S. energy supply is slowly but surely moving away from the dirty energy sources.

The U.S. energy supply is slowly but surely moving away from the dirty energy sources.

Photo Credit: iStock

Solar energy is on the rise, but just how much is it rising? Analysis from one government agency gives a rough idea of what to expect from solar over the next couple of years.

According to data published recently, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that solar electric generation will account for most of the growth in the U.S. power sector through 2025.

The EIA's analysis forecasted that solar share of total generation should be 5.6% in 2024 and 7.0% in 2025. The solar share in 2023 was 4.0%. 

That means that solar should account for almost all of the added capacity over the next couple of years as several state governments and, to an extent, the federal government look to transition away from the traditional dirty energy sources — such as gas and oil — that contribute to air pollution and the overheating of our planet.

The EIA also predicted that OPEC+'s crude oil production would average less than its pre-pandemic five-year average, dropping from 40.2 million barrels per day before the pandemic to 36.4 million barrels per day in 2024 and 37.2 million barrels per day in 2025. 

While this analysis shows oil production remaining relatively steady, in more encouraging news, the EIA report also predicted that coal production and consumption in the U.S. would fall to levels not seen since the 1960s.

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Previous analysis from the EIA showed that Americans' use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind was starting to outpace our use of coal in mid-2023, with rooftop solar panels accounting for a large percentage of the difference.

The EIA's analysis makes it clear that the U.S. energy supply is slowly but surely moving away from the dirty energy sources that harm our planet — the only question is whether it will ramp up quickly enough to come close to any of our stated climate goals.

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