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EIA: Energy generation from biomass resources increases

By Erin Voegele | April 29, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently reported that approximately 6.2 percent of U.S. electricity supplies in 2013 were generated from nonhydro renewable energy sources. Maine led all states by generating 32 percent of its electricity from nonhydro renewables, primarily biomass generation by the wood products industry. In fact, the EIA estimated that approximately 25 percent of Maine’s net electric generation came from biomass.

The April issue of EIA’s Electric Power Monthly includes updated bioenergy data through February. The report estimates wood and wood-derived fuels were used to generate 6.91 million MWh of energy during the first two months of this year across all sectors, up 5.2 percent from the same period of 2012. Electric utilities generated 482,000 MWh of energy from wood biomass during the first two months of 2014. During the same period, independent power producers generated 1.89 million MWh of energy from wood biomass. The commercial and industrial sectors generated 11,000 MWh and 4.52 million MWh of energy from wood biomass, respectively.

Other forms of biomass were used to generate 2.93 million MWh of energy during the first two months of the year across all sectors, down 4.6 percent from the same period of 2013. Electric utilities generated 204,000 MWh of energy from other forms of biomass during the first two months of the year. During the same time period, independent power producers, the commercial sector and the industrial sector generated a respective 2.17 million MWh, 390,000 Mhw and 158,000 MWh of energy from other sources of biomass.

Across all sectors in February, wood-derived fuels were used to generate 3.27 million MWh of energy, landfill gas was used to generate 653,000 MWh of energy and municipal solid waste (MSW) was used to generate 468,000 MWh. Also during the month, other forms of biomass were used to generate 195,000 MWh of energy.

According to the EIA, 8.4 MW of capacity from landfill gas-to-energy sources was added in February, bringing total U.S. landfill gas-to-energy capacity to 1,986.6 MW. The nation also added 2.4 MW of capacity from other forms of waste biomass, bringing that sector’s capacity up to 843.2 MW. As of the close of February, the U.S. also had 8,201.3 MW of wood biomass capacity and 2,230.7 MW of MSW capacity. Total biomass from all bioenergy sources was 2,698.5 MW.

Additional information is available on the EIA website.

 

 

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