EIA updates 2019, 2020 bioenergy production, capacity forecasts

By Erin Voegele | November 13, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released an updated Short-Term Energy Outlook on Nov. 13 predicting that non-hydro renewables will provide 10 percent of total U.S. utility-scale power generation this year, increasing to 12 percent in 2020.

Biomass is expected to be used by the electric power sector to generate 27.9 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity this year, falling to 26.5 billion kWh in 2020. Generation from waste biomass is expected to reach 15.8 billion kWh this year, falling to 15.3 billion kWh in 2020. Generation from wood biomass is expected to be at 12.1 billion kWh in 2019, falling to 11.2 billion kWh in 2020.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.241 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, falling to 0.217 quad in 2020. The sector is also expected to consume 0.186 quad of wood biomass in 2019, falling to 0.169 quad next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.163 quad of waste biomass and 1.46 quad of wood biomass this year. Next year, consumption of waste biomass is expected to fall to 0.16 quad, while consumption of wood biomass is forecast to fall to 1.378 quad.

In the commercial sector, consumption of waste biomass is expected to reach 0.042 quad this year, falling slightly to 0.41 quad next year. The sector is expected to consume 0.084 quad of wood biomass in both 2019 and 2020.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.525 quad of wood biomass in 2019. That level of consumption is expected to be maintained into 2020.

Across all sectors, the consumption of waste biomass is expected to reach 0.447 quad this year, falling to 0.418 quad next year. Consumption of wood biomass is also expected to fall, from 2.254 quad in 2019 to 2.156 quad in 2020.

In the electric power sector, total biomass power capacity is expected to reach 6,947 MW by the end of 2019, including 4,100 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,847 MW of wood biomass capacity. Total biomass capacity is expected to increase to 6,956 MW by the end of 2020, including 4,067 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,889 MW of wood biomass capacity.

Across other sectors, total biomass power capacity is expected to reach 6,523 MW by the end of 2019, including 848 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,675 MW of wood biomass capacity. Total biomass capacity is expected to increase to 6,568 MW in 2020, including 861 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,705 MW of wood biomass capacity.