WTE in the 0.2 to 0.6 quad range for 2000, increasing to between 0.45 to 0.84 quads by 2010, and increasing to between 0.87 to 1.17 quads by 2030.
To place these projections in perspective, consider that total U.S. energy consumption was about 83.4 quads in 1988 and is projected to increase to 97.4 quads in 2000 and to 108.4 quads in 2010 ( Energy Information Administration, 1990). Thus, energy from WTE currently accounts for about 0.4 percent of all U.S. energy consumption. In our base-case, energy from WTE is projected to account for 0.6 percent of U.S. consumption by 2000 and increase to 1.1 percent by 2010. In our low-case, WTE will account for 0.5 and 0.7 percent in 2000 and 2010, respectively. If our high-case scenario is correct, WTE will represent about 0.9 percent of U.S. consumption in 2000 and increase to 1.7 percent by 2010. Thus, WTE is not expected to displace a large percentage of conventional energy forms used in the United States. However, when viewed in an absolute sense, the numbers are not small. For further perspective, consider that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) ( 1991) estimates that U.S. electric utilities consumed about 1.25 quads of petroleum, 2.87 quads of natural gas, and 2.91 quads of hydroelectric power in 1990. The EIA estimates that other energy forms-- including wood, geothermal, wind, photovoltaic, solar, and waste--contributed only 0.2 quads of input energy to electric utilities in 1990. Therefore, to the extent that MSW is used for future electricity generation (and all WTE facilities in the planning phases are slated to produce electricity at least in part), WTE may become a major player in the production of electricity in the coming decades.