EIA: Power generation from renewables to increase in 2019, 2020

By Erin Voegele | June 14, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the June edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting nonhydropower renewables will provide 11 percent of U.S. power generation in 2019, increasing to 13 percent in 2020. Nonhydropower renewables provided 10 percent of electricity generation in 2018.

Wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 113,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 115,000 MWh per day in 2020. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 57,000 MWh per day of electricity in both 2019 and 2020.

In the electric power sector, waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 48,000 MWh per day in both 2019 and 2020. Generation from wood biomass is expected to reach 37,000 MWh per day this year, increasing to 39,000 MWh per day next year.

Across other sectors, waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 76,000 MWh per day in both 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 0.269 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.27 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.221 quad of wood biomass in 2019, increasing to 0.232 quad in 2020.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.169 quad of waste biomass in both 2019 and 2020, along with 1.439 quad of wood biomass in 2019 and 1.401 quad of wood biomass in 2020.

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 0.492 quad of wood biomass this year, falling to 0.488 quad next year.

Across all sectors, waste biomass consumption is expected to reach 0.482 quad in 2019 and remain at that level into 2020. The consumption of wood biomass is expected to reach 2.238 quad this year, falling to 2.205 quad next year.

Biomass capacity in the electric power sector is expected to reach 7,071 MW by the end of this year, including 4,141 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,930 MW of wood biomass capacity. Biomass capacity in the electric power sector is expected to fall to 7,052 MW by the end of 2020, including 4,080 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,972 MW of wood biomass capacity.

Biomass capacity across other sectors is expected to reach 6,657 MW by the end of 2019, including 866 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,791 MW of wood biomass capacity. Capacity is expected to fall slightly to 6,649 MW by the end of 2020, including 866 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,784 MW of wood biomass capacity.