EIA: Generation from wood-derived fuels increased in August

By Erin Voegele | November 03, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently published the October issue of its Electric Power Monthly, which includes data through August. The report indicates the U.S. added 219.6 MW of bioenergy capacity during the month. However, the total volume of in-service bioenergy capacity dropped.

The U.S. added 167.9 MW of capacity from wood and wood waste biomass during August. Overall capacity in the category, however, dropped by 279.9 MW. As a result, total in-service capacity for wood and wood waste biomass dropped from 8,329.8 MW at the end of July to 8,217.8 Mw at the end of August. The U.S. added 49.2 MW of landfill gas capacity in August, with 5.3 MW of capacity reductions. Overall capacity from landfill gas increased from 2,044.2 MW at the end of July to 2,088.1 MW at the end of August. Approximately 1 MW of municipal solid waste capacity was added in August, with 4.7 MW of capacity reductions. Overall municipal solid waste capacity dropped from 2,224 MW at the close of July to 2,220.3 MW at the close of August. While the U.S. added 1.5 MW of capacity from other waste biomass during the month, the category also experienced an 18.8 MW drop in capacity. Overall capacity from other waste biomass dropped from 833.4 MW as of the close of July to 816.1 MW as of the close of August. Capacity for all biomass sources dropped from 13,431.4 MW in July to 13,342.3 as of the end of August. On a year-to-date basis, the EIA indicates bioenergy capacity has increased by 99.3 MW on a net basis. Over the past 12 months, it has increased by 831.09 MW on a net basis.  

The EIA reports that there are 206.1 MW of planned bioenergy capacity additions in the next 12 months, with only 24.5 MW of planned capacity reductions over the same period.

During the first eight months of the year, the EIA estimates wood and wood derived fuels were used to generate 28.21 million MWh of electricity, up from 26.18 million MWh during the same period of 2013. Landfill gas was used to generate an estimated 6.27 million MWh of electricity during the first eight months of this year, down slightly from 6.57 million MWh during the same period of last year. Biogenic municipal solid waste generated 4.87 million MWh of electricity during the first eight months of 2014, down slightly from 4.92 million MWh during the same period of 2013. Other sources of waste biomass were used to generate 1.73 million MWh of electricity during the first eight months of this year, down from 1.84 million MWh hours during the same period of last year.

During the first eight months of this year, electric utilities generated 1.76 million MWh of electricity from wood and wood-derived fuels, up from 1.41 million MWh during the same period of 213. Electric utilities generated an additional 908,000 MWh of electricity from other biomass sources during the same period of this year, down from 957,000 MWh last year. Independent power producers generated 7.66 million MWh of electricity from wood and wood-derived fuels during the first eight months of this year, up from 6.37 million MWh during the same period of 2013. Generation from other forms of biomass, however, dropped, from 10.06 million MWh during the first eight months of 2013 to 9.67 million MWh during the first eight months of this year. The commercial sector generated 55,000 MWh of electricity from wood and wood-derived fuels during the first eight months of this year, up from 17,000 MWh during the same period of 2013. Generation from other forms of biomass also increased, from 1.64 million MWh during the first eight months of last year to 1.66 million MWh during the same period of this year. The industrial sector generated approximately 18.74 million MWh of electricity from wood and wood-derived fuels during the first eight months of this year, up from 18.39 million MWh during the same period of last year. The industrial sector also generated 635,000 MWh of electricity from other sources of biomass during the first eight months of this year, down from 669,000 MWh during the same period of last year.

A full copy of the October issue of Electric Power Monthly is available on the EIA’s website.