Secretaries Bodman & Johanns Announce $17.5 M for Biofuels R&D Grants

Nearly $17.5 million in funding was announced by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel Bodman yesterday for 17 projects in research, development and demonstration that show collaboration among experts in the field of biomass.

The Secretaries made the announcement at Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance, a conference jointly hosted by the USDA and DOE, where President Bush is scheduled to speak today, October 12. “This funding will spur new scientific innovation that will help us kick our over-reliance on oil,” DOE Secretary Bodman said. “President Bush’s policies, like the Advanced Energy Initiative, have demonstrated a strong commitment to a secure energy and economic future. By investing in our nation’s promising researchers we are closer to making clean, affordable alternative sources of energy a reality.” The DOE (FY’06-’08) funds ($4.7 million) go to three projects developing cellulosic biomass; USDA (FY’06) will provide funding ($12.8 million) to address feedstock production and product diversification. The grants are intended to develop technologies necessary to help make bio-based fuels cost-competitive with fossil fuels in the commercial market. The projects selected will carry out research, development and demonstrations on bio-based products, bioenergy, biofuels and biopower. Grant recipients include Edenspace Systems Corp (Virginia), Center for Technology Transfer (Wisconsin), Lucigen Corporation (Wisconsin), Ceres, Inc. (California), Western Governors’ Association (Colorado), Southern Illinois University, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois), Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Louisiana State University Agriculture Center, Michigan State University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (New York), Clarkson University (New York), North Carolina State, The Pennsylvania State University, Drexel University (Pennsylvania), and Virent Energy Systems, Inc. (Wisconsin). “Americans are discovering the road to energy independence is paved with natural resources grown right here at home,” USDA Secretary Johanns said. “This is a new era for America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities as they seize this moment where opportunity meets need, and where American ingenuity breaks a century-long addiction to oil.”