U.S. EIA Expects Two Years of Significant Growth in Solar Electric Generation in the United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects solar electric generation will account for 7% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2025, up from 4% in 2023, according to its recent Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

Developers have reported that almost 80 gigawatts of solar power will come online over the next two years, increasing U.S. solar generating capacity by 84% and making solar the leading source of growth in U.S. electricity generation through 2025.

“We are experiencing a significant shift in U.S. electric generation, as solar generation grows rapidly, taking market share from coal and tempering the growth in natural gas usage,” said EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis. “Coal and natural gas remain important to the U.S. electric grid, even as variable renewable resources such as solar and wind grow.”

Other highlights from the January STEO include:

  • U.S. oil and natural gas production. Despite slower growth, our forecast shows U.S. crude oil production will establish new records of 13.2 million barrels per day in 2024 and over 13.4 million barrels per day in 2025. Annual U.S. natural gas production also establishes new records in 2024 and 2025 in EIA’s forecast.
  • Gasoline prices. We forecast U.S. motorists will pay less for retail gasoline over the next two years as prices fall from an average $3.52 per gallon in 2023 to about $3.40 per gallon in 2024 and about $3.20 per gallon in 2025.
  • Crude oil prices. Crude oil prices will remain relatively unchanged this year, according to our forecast, as OPEC+ continues to limit crude oil production. Prices fall to $79 per barrel in 2025 as production growth outpaces slowing global oil demand growth.
  • Coal markets. We forecast coal production drops by 26% over the next two years, reaching 430 million short tons in 2025, its lowest level since the early 1960s.
  • Natural gas prices. We forecast the spot price of natural gas will rise to an average of $3.00 per million British thermal units in 2025, up from $2.54 million British thermal units in 2023, but U.S. production growth limits significant price increases.

The full 2024 Short-Term Energy Outlook is available on the EIA website. EIA also published two Between the Lines articles, one about our Brent crude oil price forecast and the other a retrospective of 2023 Brent crude oil prices.

Written by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.