EIA updates bioenergy forecasts in February STEO

By Erin Voegele | February 13, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released the February edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting that nonhydropower renewables will provide 11 percent of U.S. electricity generation this year and 13 percent next year, up from approximately 10 percent in 2018.

The EIA predicts wood biomass will be used to generate 117,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 119,000 MWh per day next year. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 58,000 MWH per day in both 2019 and 2020.

The electric power sector is currently expected to generate 89,000 MWh per from biomass this year, including 49,000 MW per day from waste biomass and 40 MWh per day from wood biomass. Generation is expected to increase to 91,000 MWh per day next year, including 49,000 MWh from waste biomass and 42,000 MWh from wood biomass.

Across other sectors, electricity generation from biomass is expected to reach 86,000 MWh per day this year, including 77,000 MWh per day from waste biomass and 9,000 MWh per day from wood biomass. Those production levels are expected to be maintained through 2020.

In the electric power sector, waste biomass consumption is expected to reach 0.276 quadrillion Btu (quad) in 2019, increasing to 0.179 quad in 2020. The sector is also expected to consume 0.235 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.245 quad next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.167 quad of waste biomass in both 2019 and 2020. The sector’s consumption of wood biomass is expected to reach 1.426 quad this year, falling to 1.413 quad next year.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.044 quad of waste biomass and 0.084 quad of wood biomass in both 2019 and 2020.

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

On a combined basis, all sectors are expected to consume 0.487 quad of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.49 quad next year. Wood biomass consumption is expected to reach 2.164 quad this year, falling slightly to 2.162 quad in 2020.

The electric power sector is expected to have 7,358 MW of biomass capacity in place by the end of 2019, including 4,212 MW of waste biomass capacity and 3,146 MW of wood biomass capacity. By the end of 2020, biomass capacity is expected to increase to 7,401 MW, including 4,213 MW of waste biomass capacity and 3,188 MW of wood biomass capacity.

Across other sectors, biomass capacity is expected to reach 6,621 MW by the end of this year, including 889 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,732 MW of wood biomass capacity. Those capacity levels are currently expected to be maintained through the end of 2020.