EIA updates bioenergy production, capacity forecasts

By Erin Voegele | September 07, 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 Sept. 7. Renewables accounted for 20 percent of electricity production last year.

The electric power sector is expected to generate 27.9 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of biomass power this year, including 14.6 billion kWh from waste biomass and 11.9 billion kWh from wood biomass. Biomass generation is expected to fall to 26.1 billion kWh in 2023, with waste biomass generation maintained at 14.6 billion kWh and generation from wood biomass falling to 11.4 billion kWh. Biomass generation was at 27.9 billion kWh in 2021, including 15.5 billion kWh from waste biomass and 12.4 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 fall slightly this year to 27.4 billion kWh, including 2.8 billion kWh from waste biomass and 24.5 billion kWh from wood biomass. Generation is expected to be maintained at the 2022 level through 2023.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.223 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, expanding to 0.224 quad next year. Consumption was at 0.236 quad in 2021. The sector is also expected to consume 0.192 quad of wood biomass in 2022, falling to 0.184 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 23, 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 1.345 quad in 2022 and 1.413 quad in 2023.

The commercial sector consumed 0.035 quad of waste biomass in 2021, with consumption expected to increase to 0.036 quad in 2022 and 0.037 quad in 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.

Th residential sector is expected to consume 0.472 quad of wood biomass in 2022 and 2023, up from 0.464 quad in 2021.

Across all sectors, waste biomass consumption as at 0.431 quad last year and is expected to fall to 0.424 quad this year and 0.423 quad next year. Wood biomass consumption was at 2.087 quad in 2021 and is expected to expand to 2.093 quad in 2022 and 2.152 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 d2,303 MW of wood biomass capacity. Total biomass capacity is expected to fall to 5,956 MW by the end of this year and 5,879 MW by the end of 2023. Waste biomass capacity is expected to fall to 3,653 MW by the end of 2022 and 3,576 MW by the end of next year. Wood biomass capacity is expected to be maintained at 2,303 MW through the end of 2022 and 2023.

Across other sectors, biomass capacity was at 6,214MW at the end of 2021, including 829 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,385 MW of wood biomass capacity. Biomass capacity is expected to fall to 6,148 MW by the end of this year, 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, including 821 MW of waste biomass capacity and 5,318 MW of wood biomass capacity.