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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is pleased to announce the 2016 update of the BETO Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP). The MYPP serves as an operational guide to help BETO manage and coordinate its activities as well as a vehicle to communicate BETO’s mission, goals, and plans to stakeholders and the public. It details BETO’s research, development, demonstration, market transformation, and crosscutting activities for the coming years and outlines how they are important to meeting the nation’s energy and sustainability challenges. 

This latest MYPP includes updates throughout but features significant changes in three areas: 

  1. Office Vision and Mission: BETO has revised its vision statement to “A thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies” and its mission statement to “Developing and demonstrating transformative and revolutionary bioenergy technologies for a sustainable nation.” These revisions emphasize BETO’s key role in the bioeconomy.
  2. Algae: BETO’s “Algal Feedstocks Research and Development” program area has been renamed “Advanced Algal Systems Research and Development” to emphasize the entire algal biofuels supply chain. This section also includes a new Algae Farm Design Case with technical targets for algal biomass production costs through open pond cultivation systems. Design cases are peer reviewed techno-economic analyses that underpin BETO technical targets and cost goals. BETO’s portfolio also focuses on other algae cultivation systems, such as attached growth systems, and closed photobioreactors.
  3. Demonstration and Market Transformation: This section includes an updated integrated biorefinery strategy with new milestones (see pp. 2-100–2-101) and provides revised analysis of the potential impact of meeting those milestones. 

Other changes throughout the document include new and updated milestones for each of the BETO program areas and an adjustment to a dollar-year basis of 2014$ from 2011$ to account for inflationary effects on costs of biofuel and bioproduct production. 

BETO is one of 10 technology development offices within the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Through funding ongoing research and development at the national laboratories and competitively selected, cost-shared R&D projects conducted by the laboratories, research centers, universities, and private companies, BETO is accelerating the commercialization of first-of-a kind technologies for advanced biofuels and biobased products. These new technologies have the potential to reduce transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions, improve U.S. national security through reduced petroleum imports, and create new domestic economic opportunities and jobs in agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.

Supporting detail about BETO’s mission, goals, and activities is found in the FY 2017 Congressional Budget Justification and on the BETO website.