EIA updates bioenergy, wood heating forecasts

By Erin Voegele | February 08, 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the February edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting the non-hydro renewables share of U.S. electricity generation will be 9 percent in 2017 and 10 percent in 2018.

Wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 110,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 111,000 MWh per day next year. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 60,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, with that level maintained into 2018.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.216 quadrillion Btu (quad) of wood biomass in 2017, increasing to 0.223 quad in 2018. The sector is also expected to consume 0.283 quad of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.287 next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 1.235 quad of wood biomass in 2017, falling to 1.23 quad in 2018. In addition, the sector is expected to consume 0.192 quad of waste biomass in both 2017 and 2018.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.073 quad of wood biomass this year, maintaining that level of consumption through next year. The consumption of waste biomass is also expected to be at 0.049 quad in both 2017 and 2018.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.394 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.413 quad next year.

On a combined basis, all sectors are expected to consume 1.919 quad of wood biomass in 2017, increasing to 1.94 quad in 2018. Consumption of waste biomass is also expected to increase, from 0.524 quad this year to 0.528 quad next year.

According to the EIA, 2.48 million households are expected to 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 .09 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.