EIA sees cheap power

Electricity prices in the United States will probably drop by about 1-/kWh by the year 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration`s annual long-term energy outlook. Driven down by competitive forces in power markets, falling coal prices and increased mining productivity, electricity rates are expected to bottom out at an average of 5.8 cents/kWh. Meanwhile, carbon emissions will rise by 1.3 percent a year, even as 40 percent of the country`s nuclear generating capacity is retired. The EIA projects new power capacity totaling 300 GW will be needed over the next 20 years to meet new demand and replace retired plants. Most of these will be gas-fired combined cycle plants.

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