Funding Amount: Up to $15,000,000
Open Date: May 3, 2018
Funding Number: DE-FOA-0001917

The U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $15 million to support early-stage research and development (R&D) related to the production of affordable and sustainable non-food dedicated energy crops that can be used as feedstocks for the production of advanced biofuels and coproducts. This funding opportunity supports the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) strategic goal of reducing the price of biofuels to less than $3/gasoline gallon equivalent.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) aims to generate scientific information on new varieties/cultivars of lignocellulosic energy crops - specifically, their performance improvements relative to predecessor varieties, how well adapted they are across regions, whether they are more cost-effective to produce, and whether they are sustainable relative to traditional cropping or pasture systems.

BETO anticipates funding 3-6 awards for between $2 million and $4 million each. Required activities include:

  • Conduct small-scale field testing of new varieties of energy crops, such as switchgrass, miscanthus, non-food sorghum, willow, and hybrid poplar.
  • Measure crop performance and environmental effects relative to traditional cropping and pasture systems.
  • Define cost-effective methods for planting, harvesting, collecting and storing the biomass.

As demonstrated in the 2016 Billion Ton Report, the United States has the potential to produce approximately 1 billion tons of biomass per year by 2030 while meeting projected demands for food, feed, forage, and fiber production, with approximately 240-380 million tons of this biomass potentially coming from energy crops. To achieve these volumes, energy crop production must be dependable, high-yielding, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable. The results of this research will provide a scientific foundation for the private sector to build upon, allowing the implementation of economically viable strategies to produce domestic, biomass-derived renewable fuels.

Learn more about this funding opportunity and apply.  Letters of intent are due by May 30, 2018.  Full applications are due by June 27, 2018.

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) supports early-stage R&D of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that make energy more affordable and strengthen the U.S. economy.