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U.S. power use to rise in 2022 as economy continues to grow -EIA

Feb 8 (Reuters) - U.S. power consumption will rise in 2022 and 2023 as the economy continues to recover, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday.

EIA projected power demand will climb to 3,992 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2022 and 4,034 billion kWh in 2023 from 3,937 billion kWh in 2021.

That compares with a coronavirus-depressed eight-year low of 3,856 billion kWh in 2020 and an all-time high of 4,003 billion kWh in 2018.

The EIA projected 2022 power sales would ease to 1,465 billion kWh for residential consumers, but rise to 1,355 billion kWh for commercial customers as more people return to work in offices and 1,025 billion kWh for industrials.

That compares with current all-time highs of 1,482 billion kWh in 2021 for residential consumers, 1,382 billion kWh in 2018 for commercial customers and 1,064 billion kWh in 2000 for industrials.

The EIA said natural gas' share of power generation will slide from 37% in 2021 to 35% in 2022 and 2023 as gas prices rise. Coal's share, meanwhile, will slide from 23% in 2021 to 22% in 2022 and 2023 as renewable output rises.

The percentage of renewable generation will rise from 20% in 2021 to 22% in 2022 and 24% in 2023. Nuclear power will hold at 20% in 2022 and 2023, the same as 2021.

The EIA projected 2022 natural gas sales would rise to 13.48 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) for residential consumers, 9.31 bcfd for commercial customers and 23.54 bcfd for industrials, but fall to 29.79 bcfd for power generation.

That compares with all-time highs of 14.32 bcfd in 1996 for residential consumers, 9.63 bcfd in 2019 for commercial customers, 23.80 bcfd in 1973 for industrials and 31.75 bcfd in 2020 for power generation.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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