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DOE Announces $160 Million for Biorefinery Construction and Highlights New Agricultural Program to Promote Biofuels

February 22, 2006 - 12:11pm

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Funding Paves the Way for Diversifying America's Energy Mix

DECATUR, IL - Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, today announced $160 million in cost-shared funding over three years to construct up to three biorefineries in the United States.  The Secretary made the announcement while visiting the Archer Daniels Midland Ethanol Plant, his second of four stops to promote the Advanced Energy Initiative announced by President Bush in his State of the Union address.  Secretary Bodman also highlighted the United States Department of Agriculture's announcement today of almost $188 million in loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. 

"This funding will support a much-needed step in the development of biofuels and renewable energy programs," Secretary Bodman said.  "Partnerships with industry like these will lead to new innovation and discovery that will usher in an era of reduced dependence on foreign sources of oil, while strengthening our economy at home."

The $160 million solicitation is part of President Bush's Biofuels Initiative which will lead to the use of non-food based biomass, such as agricultural waste, trees, forest residues, and perennial grasses in the production of transportation fuels, electricity, and other products.  One of the goals of this initiative is to accelerate research and make "cellulosic ethanol" cost-competitive by 2012, offering the potential to displace up to 30 percent of our nation's current fuel use by 2030.  The goal of the solicitation announced today is to demonstrate that commercial biorefineries can be profitable once initial construction costs are paid.  There is a $100,000,000 cap on any single-demonstration award, and projects are required to show a 60/40 (industry/government) cost share. 

Secretary Bodman also highlighted Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns's announcement today in Las Vegas, of $176.5 million available in loan guarantees and almost $11.4 million in grants to support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and small businesses.  For more information on the Department of Agriculture's nearly $188 million in loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, visit:  http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome

In his State of the Union Address, President Bush announced two key, energy-related initiatives.  President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative requests $2.1 billion, a 22 percent budget increase, to develop new technologies and alternative sources of energy to help diversify and strengthen our nation's energy mix.  The American Competitiveness Initiative is a multi-agency commitment to ensure that America remains competitive in the global marketplace.  Its $5.9 billion investment in Fiscal Year 2007 puts America's science budget on the path to doubling over the next ten years.  Funding would increase investments in research and development, strengthen education in math and science, and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

As part of the Bush Administration's broader effort to promote production and use of alternative and renewable sources of energy, Administration officials are traveling the country to promote President Bush's energy initiatives.  Energy Secretary Bodman will make a total of four stops around the country this week, promoting the Advanced Energy and American Competitiveness Initiatives, in addition to highlighting a number of energy efficiency programs, notably biomass (including cellulosic ethanol), solar, and hydrogen.  Earlier today, Secretary Bodman met with students and teachers at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator National Laboratory in Newport News, Virginia, to discuss the importance of science and math education.

Tomorrow, February 23, 2006, Secretary Bodman will visit GT Solar Manufacturing Company in Merrimack, New Hampshire to promote the Solar American Initiative and to highlight solar tax credits made available as a result of the recently enacted Energy Policy Act.  Also tomorrow, Secretary Bodman will visit General Motors Advanced Technologies Facility in Honeoye Falls, New York, to promote the Advanced Energy Initiative.

Also this week, DOE Assistant Secretary Karen Harbert will visit green manufacturer Steelcase in Grand Rapids, and provide remarks at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, in Muskegon, Michigan; Assistant Secretary Jeff Jarrett will visit the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia; and Assistant Secretary John Shaw will deliver remarks at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Acting Assistant Secretary Doug Faulkner will make two stops, the first to deliver remarks at a biofuels conference in Auburn Alabama, the second to deliver remarks at the Gerdau Ameristeel Steel Mill Energy Savings Assessment in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens,202/586-4940

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