Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy have released the fourth annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which shows renewable energy comprised 20 percent of the U.S. power fleet last year, reaching 222 GW of installed capacity. Since 2008, installed capacity has increased 57 percent.
(Report: Biomass, biogas, waste-to-energy added 224 MW last year. Biomass Magazine)
Editor’s Comment: In the USA, biobased energy makes-up ±6% of the renewable capacity, which is about 1.2% of the total installed generating capacity. Even though “biobased” is baseload energy (not subject to weather conditions), only ±15% of all investments are made in this sector. Therefore, globally and especially in developing countries, we see huge growth potential in this sector. Furthermore, biobased energy offers the biggest socio-economic benefit of all renewable energy technologies (lowest capex, most permanent, rural jobs per installed capacity). Example: Using proven technologies, the GreenEnergyPark™ supports a nation’s energy system .
Extracts from “Report: Biomass, biogas, waste-to-energy added 224 MW last year” (Biomass Magazine):
Biobased added 224 MW
Together biomass, biogas and waste-to-energy added 224 MW of capacity last year, up 15 percent from 2014. Capacity for biomass, biogas, and waste-to-energy reached 13.5 GW last year, up 15 percent from 2008.
According to the report, policy support measures, primarily the production and investment tax credits, led to a spike in biomass installations in 2013, with 556 MW of capacity added. An additional 106 MW of capacity was added in 2014, along with 140 MW in 2015. The report indicates that new biogas capacity has been declining since 2012, partially due to low natural gas prices.
Biomass Feedstock Prices
Biomass feedstock prices for 2014 were relatively stable when compared to 2013. In the Southeast, biomass feedstock averaged $41 per dry ton in 2014, up from $39 per dry ton in 2013. In the Northwest, biomass feedstock prices averaged $25 per ton in 2014, up from $23 per ton in 2013. In the Northeast, biomass feedstock prices fell slightly, from $33 per ton in 2013 to $32 per ton in 2014.
Important Part of a Nation’s Energy System
“The not-so-good news is that baseload renewable energy, like biomass, does not have access to the same level of support by policymakers. A reliable, sustainable energy infrastructure cannot rely solely on intermittent sources of energy,” Cleaves added. “Baseload technologies like biomass are an important part of the nation’s energy system. We hope to see more government support in the coming years to preserve the existing asset base as well as add to the nation’s biomass fleet.”
By: Erin Voegele