EIA publishes new Short Term Energy Outlook, makes predictions on effect of new RFS targets

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has published its July Short-Term Energy Outlook, which among other things shows the administration’s expectations for bioenergy and biofuel’s roles in the US energy supply.

In the report, EIA says total generation from renewables in the electric power sector is set to increase by 11% in 2017, and then remain relatively unchanged in 2018. Figures presented by EIA show that energy production from wood biomass is expected to decrease from 1.958 quadrillion Btu in 2017 to 1.955 in 2018, continuing a steady decline first started in 2014. Energy generated from ‘other biomass’, including municipal waste from biogenic sources, landfill gas and other non-food waste, meanwhile, is projected to increase slightly from 0.530 to 0.532 quadrillion Btu.

Regarding liquid biofuels, EIA has made projections based on both the proposed and final Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standards’ volumes for biomass based diesel. “EIA expects that the largest effect of the current RFS targets will continue to be on biomass-based diesel consumption, which includes both biodiesel and renewable diesel and helps to meet the RFS targets for use of biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel,” the EPA statement claims.

“Biodiesel production averaged 101,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, and it is forecast to increase to an average of 105,000 b/d in 2017 and to 109,000 b/d in 2018. Net imports of biomass-based diesel are expected to fall from 54,000 b/d in 2016 to 53,000 b/d in 2017 and then rise to 59,000 b/d in 2018.” US ethanol production is expected to reach a record high in 2017, before declining slightly the following year.

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