EIA updates bioenergy capacity, production forecasts

By Erin Voegele | August 09, 2022

Renewable electricity is expected to account for 22 percent of U.S. generation this year, increasing to 24 percent in 2023, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Aug. 9. Renewables accounted for 20 percent of U.S. electricity generation last year.

The electric power sector generated 27.9 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity from biomass last year, including 15.5 billion kWh from waste biomass and 12.4 billion kWh from wood biomass. Biomass generation is expected to fall to 26.2 billion kWh in 2022, including 14.6 billion kWh from waste biomass and 11.7 billion kWh from wood biomass, and to 26 billion kWh in 2023, including 14.6 billion kWh from waste biomass and 11.4 billion kWh from wood biomass.

Across other sectors, biomass generation was at 27.6 billion kWh in 2021, including 2.8 billion kWh from waste biomass and 24.8 billion kWh from wood biomass. Biomass generation is expected to be at 27.3 billion kWh in both 2022 and 2023, including 2.8 billion kWh from waste biomass and 24.5 billion kWh from wood biomass.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.255 quadrillion Btus (quad) of waste biomass in both 2022 and 2023, down from 0.236 quad in 2021. The sector is also expected to consume 0.189 quad of wood biomass in 2022, falling to 0.084 quad in 2023, compared to 0.199 quad in 2021.

The industrial sector is expected to consume 0.163 quad of waste biomass in both 2022 and 2023, up from 0.16 quad in 2021. The sector also consumed 1.342 quad of wood biomass last year, with consumption expected to increase to 1.354 quad this year and 1.421 quad next year.

The commercial sector consumed 0.035 quad of waste biomass in 2021. Consumption is expected to increase to 0.036 quad in 2022 and be maintained at that level through 2023. The sector also consumed 0.083 quad of wood biomass last year, with that level of consumption expected to be maintained through this year and next year.

The residential sector is expected to consume 0.47 quad of wood biomass in 2022 and 2023, up from 0.464 quad in 2021.

Across all sectors, waste biomass consumption was at 0.431 quad last year and is expected to fall to 0.426 quad in 2022 and 0.425 quad in 2023. Wood biomass consumption was at 2.087 quad last year and is expected to increase to 2.097 quad in 2022 and 2.159 quad in 2023.

The electric power sector had 5,977 megawatts (MW) of biomass power capacity in place at the end of 2021, including 3,674 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,303 MW of wood biomass capacity. Biomass capacity is expected to fall to 5,956 WM by the end of this year, including 3,653 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,303 MW of waste biomass capacity. Within the sector, biomass capacity is expected to fall to 5,879 MW by the end of next year, including 3,576 MW of waste biomass capacity and 2,303 MW of wood biomass capacity.

Across other sectors, biomass capacity was at 6,214 MW at the end of 2021, including 829 Mw of waste biomass capacity and 5,385 MW of wood biomass capacity. Capacity is expected to gall to 6,148 MW by the end of 2022, including 821 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,327 MW of wood biomass capacity. Biomass capacity is expected to fall to 6,140 MW by the end of 2023, with waste biomass capacity maintained at 821 MW and wood biomass capacity falling to 5,318 MW.