U.S. power use to reach record high in 2022 as economy grows -EIA

July 12 (Reuters) - U.S. power consumption was on track to rise to record highs in 2022 and 2023 as the economy grows, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday.

The statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy projected power demand will climb to 4,022 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2022 and 4,045 billion kWh in 2023 from 3,930 billion kWh in 2021.

That compares with an eight-year low of 3,856 billion kWh in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic depressed demand, and an all-time high of 4,003 billion kWh in 2018.

The EIA projected 2022 power sales would rise to 1,486 billion kWh for residential consumers, 1,367 billion kWh for commercial customers as more people return to work in offices and 1,026 billion kWh for industrials.

That compares with all-time highs of 1,477 billion kWh in 2021 for residential consumers, 1,382 billion kWh in 2018 for commercial customers and 1,064 billion kWh in 2000 for industrials.

The EIA said natural gas' share of power generation will hold at 37% in 2022, the same as 2021, before sliding to 36% in 2023. Coal's share will drop from 23% in 2021 to 21% in 2022 and 20% in 2023 as renewable output rises.

The percentage of renewable generation will rise from 20% in 2021 to 22% in 2022 and 24% in 2023. Nuclear power will slide from 20% in 2021 to 19% in 2022 and 2023.

The agency projected 2022 natural gas sales would rise to 13.46 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) for residential consumers, 9.12 bcfd for commercial customers, 23.20 bcfd for industrials and 31.85 bcfd for power generation.

That compares with all-time highs of 14.32 bcfd in 1996 for residential consumers, 9.63 bcfd in 2019 for commercial customers, 23.80 bcfd in 1973 for industrials and 31.75 bcfd in 2020 for power generation.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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