DOE Announces $160 Million for Biorefinery Construction



Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

So tonight, I announce
the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research -- at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. (Applause.)

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for
hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We'll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. (Applause.)

Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. (Applause.) By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past. (Applause.)

And to keep America competitive, one commitment is necessary above all: We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity. Our greatest advantage in the world has always been our educated, hardworking, ambitious people -- and we're going to keep that edge. Tonight I announce an
American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our nation's children a firm grounding in math and science. (Applause.)

First, I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.

Second, I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit -- (applause) -- to encourage bolder private-sector initiatives in technology. With more research in both the public and private sectors, we will improve our quality of life -- and ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come. (Applause.)

Third, we need to encourage children to take more math and science, and to make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We've made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world. (Applause.)

Preparing our nation to compete in the world is a goal that all of us can share. I urge you to support the American Competitiveness Initiative, and together we will show the world what the American people can achieve.

Switchgrass is a native of North America where it occurs naturally from 55º N latitude to deep into Mexico, mostly as a prairie grass. In North America it has long been used for soil conservation and as a fodder crop. Both in America and Europe it can be found as an ornamental plant. The grass is also found in South America and Africa where it is used as a forage crop. Switchgrass is a perennial C4 grass propagated by seed that can be established at low cost and risc and requires very low inputs while giving high biomass yields even on marginal soils. Since the early 1990s the crop has been developed as a model herbaceous energy crop for ethanol and electricity production in the USA and in Canada and it is also being considered as a paper pulp production feedstock.

February 22, 2006 @DOE

DOE Announces $160 Million for Biorefinery Construction and Highlights New Agricultural Program to Promote Biofuels
Funding Paves the Way for Diversifying America's Energy Mix

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.

gThis funding will support a much-needed step in the development of biofuels and renewable energy programs,h Secretary Bodman said. gPartnerships 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.h

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 gcellulosic ethanolh 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:

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.