EIA predicts increase in renewable energy generation

By Erin Voegele | May 09, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released the May edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook on May 7, predicting nonhydropower renewables will provide 11 percent of electricity generation in 2019, increasing to 13 percent in 2020. In 2018, nonhydropower renewables provided approximately 10 percent of electricity generation in the U.S.

Wood biomass is expected to generate approximately 115,000 MWh per day of electricity in both 2019 and 2020. Waste biomass is expected to generate approximately 57,000 MWh per day in both years.

In the electric power sector, waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 49,000 MWh per day in both 2019 and 2020. Wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 39,000 MWh per day in both years.

Across other sectors, waste biomass is expected to generate 76,000 MWh per day in 2019 and 2020, with wood biomass used to generate 9,000 MWh per day in both years.  

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.268 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass in both 2019 and 2020. The sector is also expected to consume 0.23 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.232 quad in 2020.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.169 quad of waste biomass in both years, along with 1.441 quad of wood biomass in 2019, dropping to 1.41 quad in 2020.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.044 quad of waste biomass and 0.84 quad of wood biomass this year. Those levels are expected to be maintained into 2020.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.54 quad of wood biomass in both 2019 and 2020.

Across all sectors, waste biomass consumption is expected to reach 0.481 quad this year, a level maintained into 2020. Wood biomass consumption, however, is expected to fall, from 2.296 quad in 2019 to 2.265 quad in 2020.

The electric power sector is expected to have 7,071 MW of biomass capacity in place by the end of 2019, including 4,141 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,930 MW of wood biomass capacity. By the end of 2020, total biomass capacity in the sector is expected to fall to 7,052 MW, including 4,080 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,972 MW of wood biomass capacity.

Across other sectors, total biomass capacity is expected to reach 6,657 MW by the end of this year, including 866 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,791 MW of wood biomass capacity. By the end of 2020, total biomass capacity is expected to fall to 6,649 MW, including 866 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,784 MW of wood biomass capacity.