EIA updates short-term bioenergy forecasts

By Erin Voegele | August 11, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the August edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting total renewables used in the electric power sector will increase by 10.5 percent in 2016 and 4.3 percent in 2017. Consumption of renewable energy other than hydropower is expected to increase by 12.9 percent this year and 9.6 percent next year.

According to the EIA, waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 112,000 MWh of electricity per day this year, increasing to 114,000 MWh per day next year. Generation from waste biomass is expected to fall slightly, from 60,000 MWh per day this year to 59,000 MWh per day next year.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.239 quadrillion Btu (quad) of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.258 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.28 quad of waste biomass this year, falling to 0.273 quad next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 1.251 quad of wood biomass in 2016, falling to 1.233 quad in 2017. Consumption of waste biomass by the industrial sector is expected to reach 0.191 quad this year, increasing to 0.193 quad next year.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.076 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.078 next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.047 quad of waste biomass in both 2016 and 2017.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.408 quad of wood biomass in 2016, increasing to 0.426 quad in 2017.

In late July, the EIA released an updated Electric Power Monthly report that includes data from May. The report indicates the U.S added 86.1 MW of bioenergy capacity in May, including 84.5 MW from wood and wood waste biomass and 1.6 MW from landfill gas. As of the end of May, the U.S. had an estimated 14,066.8 MW of bioenergy capacity. Over the next 12 months, the EIA currently predicts the U.S. will add 114.4 MW of bioenergy capacity, including 63.5 MW form wood and wood waste, 25.1 MW from landfill gas, and 25.8 MW from other sources of waste biomass.