[RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Biomass appears to be the second favorite renewable energy choice of President George W. Bush. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of up to US $15 million in grants to support the President’s energy plan to develop renewable energy and expand the economic prospects and environmental benefits of biomass. Grants available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative will be used to fund eligible entities that will carry out research, development and demonstrations on biobased products, bioenergy, biofuels, biopower and related processes. Eligible applicants include private sector entities, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, national laboratories, federal and state research agencies and consortiums consisting of two or more of these entities. Grants will be awarded competitively based on technical merit and program priorities identified in the solicitation package. A minimum nonfederal share of 20 percent of the total project cost is required for solicitation eligibility. The federal share of each grant is expected to range from $250,000 to $2 million, and the work proposed should be completed within a three-year timeframe. Pre-applications for this joint solicitation must be submitted by Feb. 15, 2005, to USDA-NRCS, Management Services Division, P.O. Box 2890, Washington DC 20013-2890, Attn: Sheila Leonard.