Welcome to the  California Energy Almanac

California Biomass and Waste-To-Energy Statistics & Data

photo of wood fired biomass plant in Anderson, Calif.
Photo by Warren Gretz NREL 00298

In 2007, biomass-produced electricity in our state totaled 6,236 gigawatt-hours (GWh) or 2.1 percent of the state's total system power. A total of 132 operating biomass power plants, with an installed capacity about 1,000 megawatts, are in California.

Biomass power plant is the general term for waste-to-energy power plants that burn organic material. They are comprised of four specific types defined by the fuel they burn:

  • Biomass
  • Digester Gas (Anaerobic Digestion)
  • Landfill Gas
  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
The plant pictured on the right is the Wheelabrator Shasta Energy Company power plant in Anderson, California. It uses forest "residue" that is chipped up - dead and downed trees and slash and debris from logging - as its fuel.

For an animated movie about how a waste-to-energy plant works, go to: wheelabratortechnologies.com/index.cfm/our-clean-energy-plants/plant-at-work/

 

Biomass & Waste-to-Energy Electricity Production
(In Gigawatt-Hours; Includes Imports)


1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Biomass 731 1,099 1,171 2,063 2,461 4,092 5,204
Total Generation 199,609 211,900 210,172 211,028 220,371 232,926 238,567
 
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Biomass 6,644 7,312 7,362 5,760 7,173 5,969 5,557 5,701 5,266 5,663
Total Generation 252,355 242,343 245,535 242,026 256,719 256,367 253,621 255,080 276,412 275,803
 
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Biomass 6,086 6,185 6,261 5,935 5,903 6,027 5,682 6,236
Total Generation 280,496 265,059 272,509 276,969 289,359 287,977 295,268 302,072