EIA offers new short-term bioenergy predictions
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the March edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, reporting that U.S. power generation over the three month period from December-February is estimated to total approximately 5 percent more than last winter, primarily due to colder weather.
The EIA projects U.S. electricity generation will average 11.3 terawatt hours (TWh) per day in 2014, up 1.3 percent from last year. The use of renewables for electricity and heat generation is expected to grow by 0.9 percent in 2014, with nonhydropower renewables increasing by 2.4 percent. In 2015, renewables consumption for electric power and heat generation is expected to increase by 6 percent from 2014.
Across all industry sectors, wood biomass is expected to generate 118,000 MWh of electricity per day this year, up from 109,000 MWh per day last year. In 2015, wood biomass electricity production is expected to increase to 122,000 MWh per day. Waste biomass is also expected to increase from 55,000 MWh per day last year to 56,000 MWh per day this year and 57,000 MWh per day in 2015.
The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.253 quadrillion Btu (quad) of energy from wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.271 quad in 2015. The sector will also consume an estimated 0.268 quad of energy from waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.273 quad next year.
The EIA predicts the industrial sector will consume 1.251 of energy from wood biomass in 2014 and 1.257 quad in 2015. Waste biomass energy consumption will grow from 0.179 this year to 0.181 next year.
The commercial sector will consume an estimated 0.071 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.073 quad next year. The sector is also currently expected to consume 0.047 quad of energy from waste biomass this year, a level the EIA predicts will be maintained next year.
The residential sector is predicted to consume 0.414 of energy from wood biomass this year, dropping to 0.407 quad in 2015.
A total of 632,000 households in the Northeast are expected to use wood as a primary heating fuel during the 2013-’14 winter, along with 634,000 households in the Midwest. In the South, 632,000 households are expected to hear primarily with wood. In the West, 750,000 households are expected to use wood as a primary heating fuel. Across the entire U.S., the EIA predicts 2.648 million households will heat primarily with wood this winter, a 2.5 percent increase from last winter.