NREL 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book includes biopower statistics

By Erin Voegele | February 19, 2015

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released its 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book, which features statistics on U.S. and global renewable energy generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and technology-specific data and trends. The report is produced and published annually by NREL on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

"The 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book is an important resource for policymakers, analysts, and investors worldwide," said NREL Energy Analyst Sean Esterly. "Renewable energy trends are displayed in an accessible format for a variety of audiences."

Regarding U.S. renewable electricity production, the report indicates cumulative renewable electricity installations in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2000 and 2013, when installed capacity reached 171 GW. In 2013, renewable electricity accounted for 14.8 percent of total overall installed capacity in the U.S., along with 13.1 percent of total annual generation.

The top five states for cumulative biomass energy capacity in 2013 were California, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and Alabama. During the same year, biopower generation accounted for 11 percent of all renewable energy generated in the U.S. According to NREL, U.S. installed biopower electricity capacity grew at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 percent from 2007 to 2013. The production of bioenergy comes primarily from wood and agricultural residues burned as fuel in cogeneration applications in the industrial sector.

California had the most biopower capacity in 2103, with 1,452 GW, followed by Florida with 1,324 GW and Virginia with 808 GW. Georgia had 807 GW, Alabama had 720 GW and Pennsylvania had 665 GW. North Carolina, Maine, New York and Minnesota had 616 GW, 609 GW, 526 GW and 491 GW, respectively.

Wood and wood-derived fuels were used to generate 39,936 GWh of electricity in 2013, while landfill gas and municipal solid waste were used to generate 17,142 GWh. Other sources of biomass were used to generate 2,816 GWh. Together, all three sources of biomass were used to generate 59,894 GWh of electricity.

The report also addresses renewable electricity, wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, hydrogen, renewable and alternative fuels, and a variety of other topics. A full copy of the 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book can be downloaded from the NREL website