February 6, 2018
By Miranda Green
The United States is on pace to become a net exporter of energy, according to new data released Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA).
The 2018 annual report on the U.S. energy outlook projects that the country will shift from mostly importing energy to primarily exporting it by 2022. The cause is the continued development of U.S. shale, oil and gas resources, as well as a bump in energy consumption, according to the report.
“The United States energy system continues to undergo an incredible transformation,” said EIA Administrator Linda Capuano. “This is most obvious when one considers that the [report] shows the United States becoming a net exporter of energy during the projection period in the Reference case and in most of the sensitivity cases as well—a very different set of expectations than we imagined even five or ten years ago.”
The U.S. has been a net energy importer since 1953, according to the EIA.
The study also found that economic conditions will be favorable to oil producers in the U.S., with expectations of rising oil prices to boost the industry until 2040. But EIA experts that following 2040, the industry will likely drop due to stalling technological innovations in the sector.
The report also expects that a growing push for increased energy efficiency in the U.S. will put a dent in energy demand. Additionally, the report predicts that growth in the solar sector will lead to most energy consumption past 2022 to be fueled by renewable resources and natural gas.
“Almost all of new electricity generation capacity is fueled by natural gas and renewables after 2022 in the Reference case,” the report said.