EIA Publishes Annual Energy Outlook 2016 Early Release With a Summary of the Reference Case, Including the Clean Power Plan, and a No-CPP Case

Today, the U.S. Energy Information Administration posted a summary of two cases of energy projections covering 2015 to 2040 from the forthcoming Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016). EIA also posted the full results of these cases in spreadsheet files and in its AEO Table Browser.

The cases released today are the Reference case, which includes one possible implementation of the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency, and a No-CPP case, which assumes that the CPP rule is not implemented. Both cases show substantially more growth in electricity generation from wind and solar energy than EIA's previous projections. Wind and solar capacity additions are particularly robust through the early 2020s, reflecting the extensions of tax credits for these technologies enacted in December and lower estimates of their capital costs than in previous projections. In the Reference case, CPP implementation plays a significant role in the deployment of solar power through the end of the projection period and in an expanded role for natural gas-fired generation.

The two cases released today mark the beginning of the AEO2016 release process, which will culminate in the publication of the full AEO2016 by July. Starting in mid-June, EIA plans to release several "Issues in Focus" discussions of topics, including alternative implementation approaches for the Clean Power Plan; proposed Phase 2 Fuel Economy Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks; and an Extended Policies case that extends existing tax credits for renewable technologies at their current levels, extends the provisions of the Clean Power Plan beyond 2030, and adds follow-on efficiency and emissions standards for light duty vehicles, appliances, electric power generators, and buildings. As each of the Issues in Focus articles is posted, the full modeling results for the cases that are discussed will be posted in the AEO Table Browser.

The AEO2016 Reference case, which incorporates only existing laws and policies, is not intended to be a most likely prediction of the future. As noted by EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski, "EIA's approach to addressing the inherent uncertainty surrounding the country's energy future is to develop multiple cases that reflect different sets of internally consistent assumptions about key sources of uncertainty such as future world oil prices, macroeconomic growth, energy resources, technology costs, and policies. The energy sector has always been dynamic and undoubtedly will continue to change in the future. In creating the AEO, EIA has tried to make its projections as objective, reliable, and useful as possible."

Source: US Energy Information Administration
Date: May 17, 2016