EIA: Bioenergy capacity, generation to increase in 2019

By Erin Voegele | June 15, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the June edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting nonhydropower renewables will provide more than 10 percent of electricity generation this year, up from less than 10 percent in 2017. In 2019, nearly 11 percent of electricity generation is expected to be provided by nonhydropower renewables.

Wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 119,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 120,000 MWh per day next year. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 59,000 MWh per day in both 2018 and 2019.

The electric power sector is expected to generate 0.309 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, falling to 0.306 quad next year. The sector is also expected to generate 0.241 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.247 quad next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.178 quad of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.186 quad in 2019. The sector is also expected to consume 1.442 quad of wood biomass in 2018, falling to 1.413 quad next year.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.143 quad of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.217 quad next year. The sector is expected to consume 0.084 quad of wood biomass in both 2018 and 2019.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.408 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.42 quad next year.

The EIA currently predicts 7,363 MW of biomass energy capacity will be in place by the end of this year, up from 7,318 MW last year. Biomass energy capacity is expected to increase, reaching 7,526 MW by the end of 2019.

That capacity includes 4,284 MW of waste biomass capacity and 3,079 MW of wood biomass capacity that is expected to be online by the end of this year. By the end of 2019, waste biomass capacity is expected to reach 4,288 MW, while wood biomass capacity is expected to increase to 3,238 MW. At the end of 2017, the U.S. had approximately 4,239 MW of wood biomass and 3,079 MW of waste biomass capacity in place.