Bioenergy, biofuels account for nearly half of US renewables use

By Erin Voegele | October 19, 2020

Wood and waste energy accounted for nearly one-fourth of U.S. renewable energy use in 2019, while biofuels accounted for 20 percent of renewable energy consumption, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Oct. 19.

According to the EIA, the U.S. consumed a record amount of renewable energy in 2019, at 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), or 11 percent of total U.S. energy consumption.

The agency said wood and waste energy, including wood, wood pellets and biomass waste from landfills, accounted for approximately 24 percent of U.S. renewable energy use last year. Industrial, commercial and electric power facilities use wood and waste as fuel to generate electricity, to produce heat, and to manufacture goods. In addition, about 2 percent of U.S. households used wood as their primary source of heat in 2019.

Biofuels, including fuel ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels, accounted for approximately 20 percent of U.S. renewable energy consumption last year. Biofuels usually are blended with petroleum-based motor gasoline and diesel and are consumed as liquid fuels in automobiles, according to the EIA. The agency also noted that industrial consumption of biofuels accounts for about 36 percent of U.S. biofuel energy consumption.

Wind energy accounted for approximately 24 percent of U.S. renewable energy consumption last year, while hydro accounted for about 22 percent and solar accounted for about 9 percent.

Additional data is available on the EIA website