Each year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C., predicts future energy trends. Based on known technology and current laws, these predictions are used by federal, state and local governments, as well as trade associations and private decision-makers, to mold energy policy. This year's report, “Annual Energy Outlook 2001,” predicts landfill gas and biomass fuel generation will increase markedly during the next 20 years.
“Most of the projected growth in renewable electricity generation is expected from biomass, landfill gas, geothermal energy and wind power,” the report says.
By 2020, the report continues, biomass electricity generation is projected to increase to 65.7 billion kilowatt-hours — nearly double what it is today.
Additionally, electricity generated from municipal solid waste (MSW) — including electricity from waste incineration and from the use of landfill gas — is expected to increase by 15.9 billion kilowatt hours by 2020.
Although the report predicts no new waste incineration capacity by 2020, it projects landfill gas capacity will grow by 2.1 gigawatts.