More Wood to be Burned for Energy in 2015

- by Erin Voegele, November 14, 2014, Biomass Magazine

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"310","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 300px; height: 233px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;"}}]]The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the November issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, which includes updated forecasts for the use of wood and biomass fuels in U.S. heat and power production.

The EIA predicts that wood biomass will be use generate 118,000 MWh electricity per day in 2015, up from 116,000 MWh per day in 2014 and 109,000 MWh per day in 2013. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 58,000 MWh of electricity per day next year, up from 54,000 MWh per day this year and 55,000 MWh per day last year.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.262 quadrillion Btu (quad) of wood biomass and 0.277 quad of waste biomass next year, up from 0.25 quad and 0.259 quad this year, respectively. The industrial sector is expected to consume 1.198 quad of wood in 2015, down from 1.25 quad this year. The industrial sector is also expected to consume 0.0169 quad of waste biomass next year, down from 0.172 quad this year. The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.091 quad of wood biomass and 0.046 quad of waste biomass next year, compared to 0.079 quad and 0.046 quad this year, respectively. The residential sector is expected to consume 0.571 quad of wood next year, down slightly from 0.580 quad this year. Across all sectors, the U.S. is expected to consume 2.123 quad of wood biomass next year, down from 2.164 quad this year. The U.S. is also expected to consume 0.492 quad of waste biomass next year, up from 0.478 quad this year.

More than 2.71 million homes across the U.S. are expected to heat primarily with wood this winter, up 3.9 percent from last year. That number includes 646,000 homes in the Northeast, 696,000 homes in the Midwest, 635,000 homes in the South, and 734,000 homes in the West. In the Northeast, the number of homes heating primarily with wood is expected to be up 6.9 percent, with respective growth rates in the Midwest, South and West forecast to be 6.2 percent, 1.7 percent and 1.1 percent.