This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 23, 2014

Energy Department and USDA Announce Bioenergy Projects in 10 States

The Energy Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on July 17 announced the selection of 10 projects that will receive funding aimed at accelerating genetic breeding programs to improve plant feedstocks for the production of biofuels, biopower, and bio-based products. The projects are located in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia. DOE’s Office of Science will provide $10.6 million in funding for eight projects, while USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will award $2 million to two projects. Initial funding will support research projects for up to three years.

The $12.6 million in research grants are being awarded under a joint Energy Department-USDA program that began in 2006 focused on fundamental investigations of biomass genomics, with the aim of harnessing nonfood plant biomass for the production of fuels such as ethanol or renewable chemical feedstocks. Dedicated feedstock crops tend to require less-intensive production practices and can grow on poorer-quality land than food crops, making this a critical element in a strategy of sustainable biofuels production that avoids competition with crops grown for food. See the Energy Department news release and the complete list of projects.