Our nation’s abundant biomass and waste resources present a tremendous opportunity to sustainably produce high-performance, advanced biobased fuels, products, and renewable chemicals and help realize national goals for the future bioeconomy. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) focuses on early-stage applied research and development (R&D) to enable industry to advance bioenergy technologies that are capable of producing price-competitive biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts from non-food sources of biomass. In order to identify the most efficient and effective ways to accelerate the development of an advanced bioenergy industry, BETO conducts a biennial Peer Review process that enables external stakeholders to provide feedback on BETO’s R&D portfolio and develop recommendations. On February 6, 2018, BETO published the results of last year’s Peer Review.
During the 2017 Peer Review, more than 40 external subject matter experts from industry, academia, and federal agencies along the entire bioenergy supply chain evaluated BETO-funded projects in nine technology areas, as well as Strategic Communications. Converging stakeholders in this way enables the cross-fertilization of ideas and expertise, while providing a more comprehensive review process. BETO has used and will continue to use the results of the 2017 Peer Review to help inform programmatic decision making, modify or discontinue existing projects, guide future funding opportunities, and support other budget and strategic planning objectives.
BETO worked with an external Peer Review Steering Committee and Technology Area Review Panels to conduct its review process from July 2016 through July 2017. The Project Peer Review meeting took place on March 6–9, 2017, in Denver, Colorado. At this meeting, project investigators presented 182 presentations, covering 277 projects within nine technology areas in BETO’s R&D portfolio. During the Program Management Review meeting on July 13, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia, an external Steering Committee provided an Office-level assessment of strategic planning, communications, and programmatic initiatives.
The 2017 Project Peer Review Report contains project and technology area recommendations on the focus, management, and impact of the projects in each technology area, as well as project investigators’, technology area managers’, and BETO leadership’s responses to reviewer recommendations. BETO values the input of all the stakeholders in the bioenergy sector and looks forward to working with them in the years ahead to continue building a successful advanced bioenergy industry and a sustainable bioeconomy.