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Census Bureau releases biomass power plant data

By Erin Voegele | December 03, 2014

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released new economic census statistics on renewable energy, reporting that revenues for electric power generation industries that use renewable energy resources increased 49 percent from 2007 to 2012, reaching $9.8 billion. In 2007, revenue was only $6.6 billion. Biomass is among the four newly delineated industries addressed by the Census Bureau.

According to information released by the Census Bureau, the 2007 Economic Census included wind, geothermal, biomass, and solar electric power under the broad “other electric power generation” industry, under NAICS code 221119. By the 2012 Economic Census, those industries had been broken out separately, with the “other electric power generation” industry limited to only tidal electric power generation and other electric power generation facilities not elsewhere classified.

Under the new categorization system, biomass is listed under NAICS code 221117. The Census Bureau reports biomass power generation achieved $934.6 million in revenues according to the 2012 Economic Census.

Industry statistics published by the Census Bureau indicate 105 biomass power plants in the U.S. in 2012. California had the highest number of biomass power plants, followed by Virginia. The annual payroll of these facilities is an estimated $128 million, with total employment reported at 1,647. The revenue per establishment was more than $8.9 million, with revenue per employee at $567,000. Revenue per $1 of payroll was $7.3 while payroll per employee was $77,551. The number of employees per establishment averaged 15.7. According to the 2012 Economic Census, revenue per capital was $3 and population per establishment was nearly 2.99 million.

Since 2012 was the first year the new biomass NAICS code was in use, comparisons are not available for 2007 Economic Census data. Additional information on the Census Bureau’s biomass power plant data is available on the bureau’s website.