EIA report addresses U.S. biomass power generation

By Erin Voegele | August 30, 2012

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently issued its latest power generation data. Its Electric Power Monthly report provides an overview of biomass power on a regional basis.  

In June 2012, the U.S. produced 1.657 million MWh from wood and wood-derived fuels. An additional 1.657 million MWh was produced from other biomass sources. The production level represents a respective 8 percent and 1.7 percent reduction in power output, compared to July 2011.

The industrial sector accounted for 2.131 million MWh of wood and wood-derived power in June 2012, and 71,000 MWh of energy produced by other biomass sources. The commercial sector produced 316,000 MWh of power from other biomass sources during the month. Independent power producers generated a respective of 724,000 MWh and 1.144 million MWh of power using wood and wood-derived fuel and other biomass sources. Utilities produced only 128,000 KWh of power from wood and wood-derived fuels, and 125,000 MWh of power from other biomass sources in June.

The New England region, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, produced 644,000 MWh of biomass power across all sectors in June 2012, with Maine featuring the highest level of production in the region at 330,000 MWh.

The Middle Atlantic Region, which includes New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, produced 445,000 MWh of biomass power in June. Pennsylvania had the highest level of production in the region, with 206,000 MWh.

The East North Central region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, produced a combined 444,000 MWh of biomass power in June. Michigan ranked first in the region, with 199,000 MWh of production.

The West North Central region, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, produced a combined 175,000 MWh of biomass power during the month. The vast majority, 147,000 MWh, was generated in Minnesota.

The South Atlantic Region, which includes Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, produced the most biomass-based power in the country, with 1.232 million MWh of output. Florida reported the highest level of biomass power generation in the region, with 371,000 MWh of production.

The East South Center region, which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, produced a combined 469,000 MWh of biomass power. Mississippi produced the most in the region, with 102,000 MWh of output.

The West South Central region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, produced 506,000 MWh of biomass power. Texas’s production output of 152,000 MWh was the highest in the region.

The Mountain region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, produced only 67 MWh of biomass power in June 2012.

The Pacific Contiguous region of California, Oregon and Washington, produced a combined 635,000 MWh of biomass power in June 2012. California had the highest level of production, with 491,000 MWh of output.

The Pacific Noncontiguous region, which includes only Alaska and Hawaii, produced 25,000 MWh of biomass power, with all of that output attributed to Hawaii.