Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture have jointly selected 11 projects for awards totaling $8.3 million for biobased fuels research that will accelerate the development of alternative fuel resources.
These research projects build upon DOEs strategic investments in genomics and biotechnology and strengthen our commitment to developing a robust bioenergy future vital to Americas energy and economic security, Secretary Bodman said.
To help meet President Bush's goal to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years, research and alternative fuel production needs to expand beyond corn ethanol, Secretary Johanns said. These grants diversify the portfolio of research by looking into new ways to develop cordgrass, rice and switchgrass in renewable energy sources.
These awards continue a commitment begun in 2006 to conduct fundamental research in biomass genomics that will provide the scientific foundation to facilitate and accelerate the use of woody plant tissue for bioenergy and biofuels. The program was announced at last years Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance, a conference jointly hosted by the two agencies in St. Louis, MO. The awards are part of a greater research portfolio that will help meet President Bushs goal to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years.
The awards will be made through the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) in DOEs Office of Science (SC), and USDAs Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) National Research Initiative (NRI). In this second year of the program, new research projects on cordgrass, rice, switchgrass, sorghum, poplar, and perennial grasses join the portfolio of research on poplar, alfalfa, sorghum, and wheat.