EIA revises bioenergy, wood heat forecasts in January report

By Erin Voegele | January 10, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the January edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, noting electrical generation from nonhydropower renewables is expected to be steady this year, and increase next year.

In 2017, nonhydropower renewables provided almost 10 percent of electricity generation. That share is expected to be maintained in 2018, before increasing to 11 percent in 2019.

Wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 115,000 MWh of electricity per day in both 2018 and 2019. Generation from waste biomass is also expected to remain steady at 60,000 MWh per day in both years.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.287 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.292 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.229 quad of wood biomass this year, falling to 0.227 next year.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.165 quad of waste biomass in 2018, falling slightly to 0.164 quad in 2019. The consumption of wood biomass by the sector, however, is expected to increase slightly, from 1.238 quad in 2018 to 1.239 quad in 2019.

The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.045 quad of waste biomass and 0.079 quad of wood biomass in both 2018 and 2019.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.413 quad of wood biomass this year, increasing to 0.420 quad next year.

The EIA currently predicts nearly 2.23 million households will use wood as a primary heating fuel during the 2017-’18 winter, down 1.7 percent when compared to the previous winter. This includes 388,000 households in the Northeast, down 12.1 percent; 553,000 households in the Midwest, down 2.3 percent; 569,000 households in the South, up 4.4 percent; and 718,000 households in the West, up 0.7 percent.