Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a Washington, D.C., law firm providing biobased and renewable chemical product stakeholders unparalleled experience, judgment, and excellence in bringing innovative products to market.

On January 10, 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) report, which includes forecasts for 2018.  The report outlines expectations for regular gasoline to average a retail price of $2.38 for 2017, with prices for the first quarter of 2017 to average $2.31.  The finalized RFS volumes that were announced on November 23, 2016, resulted in EIA forecasting that ethanol consumption will average about 940,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2017 and 950,000 b/d in 2018.  Based on this level of consumption, the ethanol share of total gasoline is expected to average about ten percent in 2017 and 2018.  Ethanol production is forecast to average about 1.0 million b/d in 2017 and 2018.


 

On December 15, 2016,  the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $8 million dollars, subject to appropriations, for innovative technologies that assist in the advancement of algae bioenergy and bioproducts.  The FOA consists of two topic areas, including strain improvement for the development of enhanced algal strains, and algae cultivation biology improvement for the development of increased areal productivity and biofuel yield.   The objective of the FOA titled “Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits” is to double the current state of seasonal algal biomass productivities by overcoming species-specific, ecological, and practical challenges and to improve algal productivity and biomass composition using breakthroughs in advanced biology and biology-based tools.  Selected projects will include techno-economic and life-cycle analyses of their proposed approaches to aid commercialization, and data sharing with the research and development community to accelerate future innovations.  Concept papers are due by January 13, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. (EST) and full applications are due by February 22, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. (EST).


 

On September 5, 2016, a group of non-profits, including Oxfam International, Fern, and Greenpeace, published a report outlining policy measures that should be taken by the European Commission (EC) to ensure that bioenergy is as low-carbon and resource efficient as possible. The report, "A New EU Sustainable Bioenergy Policy Report," was published after EC stated a willingness to listen to new proposals to improve sustainable bioenergy policies. EC is planning on proposing an updated bioenergy sustainability policy for the use of biomass in heating, electricity, and transport by the end of 2016, as part of the Climate and Energy Package for 2030. To ensure the sustainability of new bioenergy policies, the report discusses the need and practicality of implementing the following safeguards:

  • A limit to the use of biomass for energy production to levels that can be sustainably supplied;
     
  • An efficient and optimal use of biomass resources, in line with the principle of cascading use;
     
  • Robust and verifiable emission savings on the basis of correct carbon accounting for bioenergy emissions; and
     
  • A comprehensive, binding set of environmental and social sustainability criteria.

This report proposed sustainability criteria across all energy uses of biomass that has been grown on land, as well as residues, waste, and side-products, but not for biomass from aquaculture and marine areas.


 

On June 14, 2016, DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), through UT-Battelle, LLC, published a report determining that bioenergy crops do not impact food security. The report, "Reconciling food security and bioenergy: priorities for action," was put together by experts from ten institutions, including ORNL, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, and Imperial College London. The report determined that previous studies finding bioenergy crops to blame for food shortages had underlying assumptions that lead to incorrect conclusions. The authors additionally recommended using flex-crop schemes utilizing crops that may be used as either fuel or food depending on economic and environmental changes.


 

On June 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an extension for the abstract submission deadline for the Bioenergy 2016 poster session. Abstract submissions were originally due June 3, 2016, but have been extended through June 10, 2016. Poster submitters will still be notified of acceptance by June 17, 2016. Abstracts must fit the following guidelines:

  • Not exceed the maximum of 300 words;
     
  • Explain validity and technical merit of the approach;
     
  • Discuss how the poster will be used to engage Bioenergy 2016 attendees;
     
  • Highlight applicability to the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) activities/Bioenergy 2016 theme; and
     
  • Provide clarity of motivation, methods, results, and conclusions.

Abstracts should be submitted to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), with "Bioenergy 2016 Poster Application" in the subject line. The submission e-mail should also include the poster title, name and affiliation of author(s), curriculum vitae for principal author(s), and the interactive element of the poster.


 

On May 18, 2016, USDA announced $21 million in funding to support the development of regional systems for bioenergy and biobased products. The funding is provided through AFRI's Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP) Challenge Area, an initiative of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and is available to applicants in the following priority areas.

  • Regional Bioenergy Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) that focus on the production and delivery of regionally-appropriate sustainable biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts. While the focus of CAPs will be on feedstocks, competitive proposals must present the feedstock development and production in the context of a comprehensive regional sustainable bioenergy and bioproducts supply chain systems.
     
  • Investing in America's Scientific Corps: Preparing a New Generation of Students, Faculty, and Workforce for Emerging Challenges in Bioenergy, Bioproducts, and the Bioeconomy.

This Request for Applications (RFA) is open to individuals, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, small businesses, and others, with a full list available in Part III A of the current AFRI SBEBP Challenge Area. Proposed budgets under Regional CAP Grants cannot exceed $3 million dollars annually, and project periods should not exceed five years. A letter of intent for the RFA is due by July 14, 2016, by 5:00 p.m. (EDT), with full applications due by September 22, 2016, by 5:00 p.m. (EDT).


 

On May 16, 2016, the DOE's BETO invited applications for abstracts for the poster session of the ninth annual conference Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation. Poster abstracts are due by June 3, 2016, and must fit the following guidelines:

  • Not exceed the maximum of 300 words;
     
  • Explain validity and technical merit of the approach;
     
  • Discuss how the poster will be used to engage Bioenergy 2016 attendees;
     
  • Highlight applicability to BETO activities/Bioenergy 2016 theme; and
     
  • Provide clarity of motivation, methods, results, and conclusions.

Abstracts should be submitted to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with "Bioenergy 2016 Poster Application" in the subject line. The submission e-mail should also include the poster title, name and affiliation of author(s), curriculum vitae for principal author(s), and the interactive element of the poster. BETO will notify submitters of inclusion in the poster session by June 17, 2016.


 

On April 21, 2016, DOE and IEA Bioenergy (IEA) presented a webinar, Bioenergy - Is It Good for the Climate?, which discussed the climate benefits of bioenergy and the impact of bioenergy on atmospheric CO2 levels. The webinar featured Annett Cowie, principal Research Scientist in New South Wales' Department of Primary Industries, and Task Leader of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy research network "Climate Change Effects of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems." Archives of the IEA Bioenergy Webinar Series are available for viewing online.


 

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC) announced the 500th invention disclosure since 2007. The BRCs, which consist of the BioEnergy Science Center (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University), and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), work to develop advanced biofuels technologies to bring to the marketplace. Created in 2007, the BRCs have brought together a diverse group of ecologists, economists, engineers, plant biologists, microbiologists, computational scientists, and chemists to collaborate with a focus on producing biofuels from cellulosic biomass.


 

On March 7, 2016, DOE's BETO sent out a save the date for the upcoming Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation conference. The ninth annual conference is co-hosted by the Clean Energy Research & Education Foundation (CEREF) and will focus on future feedstock opportunities and technology innovations in pursuit of a stronger bioeconomy. The event will take place on July 12-14, 2016, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. For more information about Bioenergy 2016, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and for more information about exhibiting or sponsoring, visit the CEREF website.


 
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