EIA: Biomass power production, wood heating to increase in 2017

By Erin Voegele | November 10, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the November edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting nonhydropower renewables will generate 8 percent of U.S. utility-scale electricity in 2016 and 9 percent in 2017.

The U.S. is expected to generate 112,000 MWh per day of electricity from biomass this year, increasing to 118,000 MWh per day in 2017. Generation from waste biomass, however, is expected to fall, from 59,000 MWh per day this year to 58,000 MWh per day next year.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.234 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.267 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.279 quad of waste biomass this year, falling to 0.272 quad next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 1.257 quad of wood biomass this year, falling to 1.232 quad next year. The consumption of waste biomass is expected to increase, from 0.192 quad this year to 0.195 quad next year.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.074 quad of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.078 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.048 quad of waste biomass in both 2016 and 2017.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.400 quad of wood this year, increasing to 0.426 quad next year.

The November STEO also predicts 2.48 million U.S. households will use wood as a primary heating fuel during the 2016-’17 winter, up 1.3 percent compared to the previous winter. This includes 536,000 households in the Northeast, down 0.9 percent; 612,000 households in the Midwest, up 1.7 percent; 601,000 households in the South, up 3.4 percent; and 731,000 households in the West, up 1 percent.