It’s official: The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has finally come around to the view that renewables will overtake natural gas in the country’s electricity mix.
The EIA has long been known for its implausibly conservative predictions about renewable energy. As recently as last year, the EIA forecast that natural gas would remain the country’s top source of electricity out to 2050.
Last year in its Annual Energy Outlook, the EIA put natural gas at 39 percent of the power mix in 2050 under its base-case scenario, far outpacing renewables at 31 percent.
Fast forward to the 2020 Annual Energy Outlook, released Wednesday, and that prediction has been turned on its head: Renewables are now forecast to account for 38 percent of electricity in 2050 (up from 19 percent today), while natural gas will see its share drop to 36 percent (from 37 percent today).
“We see renewables as the fastest-growing source of electricity generation through 2050 as cost declines make them economically competitive beyond the expiration of existing federal and state policy supports,” EIA Administrator Lisa Capuano said in a statement.