According to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) Wednesday, Oct. 12, power demand will increase to 4,034 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2022 from the 3,930 billion kWh in 2021.
That compares with an eight-year low of 3,856 billion kWh in 2020 when the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lowered the demand for electricity and the current all-time high of 4,003 billion kWh in 2018.
EIA noted in the STEO that 2022 power sales are set to rise to 1,507 billion kWh for residential consumers, 1,372 billion kWh for commercial customers and 1,013 billion kWh for the industrial sector. 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 industrial customers.
An increase in the price of electricity this year is also likely. “We forecast the U.S. residential price of electricity will average 14.9 cents per kWh in 2022, up eight percent from 2021,” EIA stated in the STEO. “Higher retail electricity prices largely reflect an increase in wholesale power prices, which are driven by higher natural gas prices.”
It added that wholesale electricity prices at major power trading hubs will be about 20 to 60 percent higher on average this winter.
Meanwhile, the natural gas share of power generation is expected to increase slightly from 37 percent in 2021 to 38 percent this year before going down to 36 percent in 2023. EIA also sees coal shares to drop from 23 percent last year to 20 percent this year and 19 percent in 2023.
“The percentage of renewable generation will rise from 20 percent in 2021 to 22 percent in 2022 and 24 percent in 2023. Nuclear power’s share will slide to 19 percent in 2022, from 20 percent in 2021, before rising back to 20 percent in 2023,” Reuters reported about the EIA’s forecasts.
EIA also projected that 2022 gas sales would rise to 13.62 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) for residential consumers, 9.69 bcfd for commercial customers, 23.15 bcfd for industrial customers and 32.64 bcfd for power generation.
Europeans prepare for cold and dark winter
As electricity demand and prices soar in the United States amid burning heatwaves, the Europeans are preparing for what could be a cold and dark winter. (Related: Europeans panic-buying firewood and stoves in desperate preparation for dark winter without electricity and gas.)
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline systems underneath the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany account for more energy uncertainty arising among Germans due to the rising risks of power blackouts.
People are desperate and are now panic buying firewood and stoves, making them feel like they are going back to the medieval days of using stoves and fireplaces to heat homes.
“It’s back to the old days when people wouldn’t have the whole house heated,” said Nic Snell, managing director at British wholesale firewood retailer Certainly Wood.
Gabriel Kakelugnar AB, a manufacturer of high-end tiled stoves, said orders had surged more than fourfold and customers have to wait until March for delivery.
Because of the sudden surge, supplies for both firewood and stoves are dwindling. Household are actually burning trash and anything they can get hold of for heat.
“Europeans have to ask if soaring electricity bills and a cost-of-living crisis are worth supporting NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine via sanctions against Russia. People in Prague are already tired of Western sanctions that have devastated their economy and financial well-being,” Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge wrote.
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Watch this video about electric companies remotely shutting off water heaters for hours a day this winter.
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