EIA predicts increased use of wood biomass in 2014

By Erin Voegele | December 10, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting that energy production from wood biomass and waste biomass will increase next year.

According to the STEO, wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 111,000 megawatt hours (MWh) per day of energy across all sectors next year, up from 105,000 MWh per day this year. In 2012, wood biomass was used to produce 103,000 MWh per day.

The EIA predicts waste biomass will be used to generate 56,000 MWh per day of electricity in 2014, up from 54,000 MWh per day this year. Last year, waste biomass was used to generate 54,000 MWh of electricity per day.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.218 quadrillion Btu (quad) of wood biomass next year, up from 0.187 quad this year. The sector is also forecast to consume 0.261 quad of waste biomass in 2014, up from 0.250 quad this year.

The industrial sector is predicted to consume 1.232 quad of wood biomass next year, down slightly from 1.284 quad this year. The consumption of waste biomass is also expected to fall from 0.174 quad this year to 0.170 quad next year.

The EIA predicts the commercial sector will consume 0.063 quad of wood biomass next year, up from 0.062 quad this year. Waste biomass consumption is expected to hold steady next year at the 2013 consumption level of 0.046 quad.

The residential sector is forecast to consume 0.414 quad of wood biomass, down slightly from 0.420 quad this year.

During the 2013-’14 winter, the EIA predicts 2.648 million households will rely on wood as a primary heating fuel, up 2.5 percent from last winter, when 2.582 million households used wood as a primary heating fuel.

In the West region of the U.S., 750,000 households are expected to use wood as a primary heating fuel, up 1.1 percent from last year. In the South, 632,000 homes are expected to rely on the fuel as a primary heat source, up 3 percent from last winter. The use of wood is expected to remain at last winter’s 632,000 home rate in the Midwest. The use of wood will increase most significantly this winter in the Northeast, where 632,000 households are expected to use wood as a primary heating fuel, up 6.6 percent from last winter.