Over the next three years, 21 biomass research, development and demonstration projects will receive $18.4 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Energy Secretary Sam Bodman announced the funding of projects aimed at making biomass more efficient and cost-effective at the Washington International Renewable Conference 2008.
"These grants help fund the innovative research needed to develop technologies and systems that lead to the production of bio-based products and biofuels," Schafer says. "Funding new technologies will help make biofuels competitive with fossil fuels in the commercial market, putting America on the path of reducing its dependence on foreign oil."
Recipients of these grants have to raise matching funds for the projects. Research and development projects must be matched at 20% while demonstration projects are required to be matched at 50%.
"Continued investments in biomass are critical to furthering the President's goal of making available clean, abundant and domestically produced biofuels for widespread use," Bodman says. "Increasing supplies of renewable energy and using more energy efficient technologies must continue to play an indispensable role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the rapidly growing demand for energy."