EIA updates 2017 bioenergy, wood heating forecasts

By Erin Voegele | December 08, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting nonhydropower renewables will generate 8 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2016, increasing to 9 percent in 2017.

Wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 112,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 118,000 MWh per day next year. Generation from waste biomass, however, is expected to fall from 60,000 MWh per day in 2016 to 58,000 MWh per day in 2017.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.232 quadrillion Btu (quad) of wood biomass in 2016, increasing to 0.267 quad in 2017. The sector is also expected to consume 0.284 quad of waste biomass in 2016, falling to 0.271 quad in 2017.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 1.258 quad of wood biomass this year, falling to 1.232 quad next year. In addition, the sector is expected to consume 0.193 quad of waste biomass in 2106, increasing to 0.198 quad in 2017.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.074 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.078 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.048 quad of waste biomass this year, falling slightly to 0.047 quad next year.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.397 quad of wood biomass in 2016, increasing to 0.426 quad in 2017.

The December STEO also predicts 2.48 million households will use wood as a primary heating fuel during the 2016-’17 winter, up 1.3 percent when compared to the previous winter. This includes 536,000 households in the Northeast, down .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.