EIA updates bioenergy production, capacity forecasts

By Erin Voegele | November 07, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the November edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting that nonhydropower renewables will provided more than 10 percent of electricity generation in 2018, increasing to nearly 11 percent in 2019.

According to the EIA, wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 115,000 MWh of electricity per day this year, increasing to 117,000 MWh per day next year. Production from waste biomass, however, is expected to drop slightly, from 59,000 MWh per day this year to 58,000 MWh per day next year.

The electric power sector is expected to generate 87,000 MWh per day from biomass this year, including 50,000 MWh per day from waste and 38,000 MWh per day from wood. Next year, the sector is expected to produce 90,000 MWh per day of electricity from biomass, including 49,000 MWh per day from waste and 40,000 MWh per day from wood.

Other sectors are expected to generate 86,000 MWh per day from biomass in both 2018 and 2019, including 77,000 MWh per day from waste biomass and 9,000 MWh per day from wood biomass.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.283 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, falling to 0.279 quad next year. The second is also expected to consume 0.22 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.237 quad in 2019.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.169 quad of waste biomass in 2018, falling to 0.166 quad in 2019. The sector is also expected to consume 1.516 quad of wood biomass this year, falling to 1.415 quad next year.

The commercial sector is currently expected to consume 0.046 quad of waste biomass this year, falling slightly to 0.045 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.084 quad of wood biomass in both 2017 and 2018.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.396 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.42 quad in 2019.

Across all sectors, waste biomass consumption is expected to reach 0.497 quad this year, falling to 0.49 quad next year, while wood biomass consumption is expected to reach 2.219 quad this year and fall to 2.156 quad next year.

The electric power sector is expected to have 7,202 MW of biomass energy capacity in place by the end of 2018, including 4,215 MW of capacity from waste biomass and 2,987 MW of capacity from wood biomass. By the end of 2019, total biomass capacity in the sector is expected to increase to 7,352 MW, including 4,206 MW of waste capacity and 3,146 MW of wood capacity.

Across other sectors, biomass capacity is expected to reach 6,630 MW by the end of 2018, including 873 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,757 MW of wood biomass capacity. Overall biomass capacity is expected to fall to 6,621 MW by the end of 2019, including 889 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,732 MW of wood biomass capacity.