EIA updates short-term bioenergy forecasts in recent reports

By Erin Voegele | April 14, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the April edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting total renewables used in the electric power sector will increase by 10 percent in 2016 and by 5.1 percent in 2017.

Wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 113,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 115,000 MWh per day in 2017. Waste biomass is expected to generate 60,000 MWh per of electricity this year, falling to 59,000 MWh per day next year.

The elected power sector is expected to consume 0.246 quadrillion Btu (quad) of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.259 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.277 quad of waste biomass this year, falling to 0.272 quad next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 1.232 quad of wood biomass this year, falling to 1.223 quad next year. The industrial sector is also expected to consume 0.192 quad of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.194 quad next year.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.077 quad of wood biomass this year, along with 0.043 quad of waste biomass. Next year, the sector is expected to consume 0.078 quad of wood biomass and 0.043 quad of waste biomass.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.418 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.426 quad next year.

In late March, the EIA released an updated version of its Electric Power Monthly report, indicating 52.5 MW of utility-scale bioenergy capacity was added in January, including 31.8 MW of wood capacity, 10.5 MW of landfill gas capacity, 0.5 MW of municipal solid waste (MSW) capacity and 9.7 MW from other sources of waste biomass. As of the close of January, the U.S. had 13,778.9 MW of total in-service bioenergy capacity. Over the next 12 months, the EIA expected 141 Mw of bioenergy capacity to be added in the U.S., including 63.5 MW from wood, 56.9 MW from landfill gas, and 20.6 MW from other sources of waste biomass.