The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On June 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the Conversion-Ready Feedstock Webinar Series. These webinars will be primarily educational to showcase research strategies that enable biomass feedstock management variability and supply chain improvements in biomass quality and consistency. Two webinar sessions will be part of this series.  The first webinar was held on June 13, 2019, and the second webinar will be held on June 20, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. (MDT). Interested parties may register by accessing DOE BETO’s notice here.

Tags: DOE, BETO

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On June 7, 2019, DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Office published in the Federal Register a notice requesting the nomination for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee. Nominations are being accepted until June 30, 2019, and require the nominee’s name, resume, biography, and any letters of support available. The Committee advises DOE and USDA points of contact with respect to the Biomass R&D Initiative and priority technical biomass R&D needs, and makes written recommendations to the Biomass R&D Board.

Tags: DOE, EERE, Biomass

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that its Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) released an updated version of an online computer model meant to help bioenergy developers to preserve water. Called Water Analysis Tool for Energy Resources (WATER), this online tool provides in-depth analysis of water consumption used in the development of bioenergy. Designed for industry leaders, government, academia, and the general public, WATER provides information for users to make better-informed decisions about what types of feedstocks are most appropriate for use in water-limited areas. WATER is funded by DOE’s EERE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and models all the water available in a region down to county levels.

Tags: DOE, EERE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A.

On May 30, 2019, DOE also announced the release of GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet, an analysis on how the U.S. can benefit from the potential of geothermal energy. The report summarizes findings that show geothermal electricity generation could increase more than 26-fold from today. Geothermal energy has the potential to reach 60 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity (a 6GW growth) by 2050, including the provision of heating and cooling solutions for residential and commercial consumers through direct-use and heat-pump technologies. U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, stated that “[m]aking geothermal more affordable can increase our energy options for a more diverse electricity generation mix […].” Industry experts, academia, DOE’s National Laboratories, and federal agencies assessed opportunities to expand geothermal energy deployment through 2050 via technology improvement, cost reduction, and reduction of project development barriers such as long permitting timelines. The GeoVision report also includes the analysis of economic benefits to the U.S. geothermal energy sector, and an investigation of opportunities for desalination, mineral recovery, and hybridization with other energy technologies for greater efficiencies and lower costs. Additionally, the report quantified potential environmental impacts of an increased deployment of geothermal energy. A roadmap of action items for stakeholders is also included, outlining three key objectives to:

  • Increase access to geothermal resources;
     
  • Reduce costs and improve economics for geothermal projects; and
     
  • Improve education.

These GeoVision objectives are to be met through four key Action Areas: (1) Research Related to Resource Assessments, Improved Site Characterization, and Key Technology Advancements; (2) Regulatory Process Optimization; (3) Maximizing the Full Value of Geothermal Energy; and, (4) Improved Stakeholder Collaboration. For further details, the full report can be accessed here.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On June 3, 2019, DOE announced a joint Call for Proposals for an opportunity to win $2 million in available funding for the advancement of geothermal research and development (R&D) through a partnership with more than 12 European countries. DOE is a member of a transnational consortium called GEOTHERMICA, which combines financial resources and research expertise to demonstrate and validate new concepts in geothermal energy use. The U.S. geothermal community will have the ability to collaborate directly with European partners on shared research projects that leverage valuable data, field site access, and expertise in geothermal R&D. In addition to the U.S., Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey are members of GEOTHERMICA. Each participating country will fund applicants originating within its national boundary. U.S. funding will be provided through the DOE National Laboratories. The Call for Proposals can be accessed here.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 28, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that, in partnership with its National Laboratories, it is dedicating the months of May and June to the public exploration of renewable biomass feedstocks used for the production of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower in support of the U.S. bioeconomy. This means that during the months of May and June 2019, BETO will be sharing information on “Bioenergy Feedstocks Out Your Window” via social media and offering webinars on new research. The June webinars will focus on research strategies that enable supply-chain improvements in biomass quality and consistency through blending, preprocessing, diversity, and landscape design in development of conversion-ready, lignocellulosic feedstocks for production of biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts.

Tags: DOE, EERE, BETO

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 29, 2019, DOE EERE’s BETO reminded funding applicants of the upcoming deadline for concept paper submissions for a $79 million funding opportunity for bioenergy research and development (R&D): June 3, 2019. In support of DOE’s goal to provide consumers and businesses with a range of domestic energy options that are affordable, reliable, and secure, this funding opportunity announcement focuses on advancing BETO’s objectives. It includes biopower, biofuels, and bioproducts, aiming to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from waste or biomass resources. The opportunity includes ten topic areas:

  • Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae
     
  • Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface
     
  • Efficient Wood Heaters
     
  • Systems Research of Hydrocarbon Biofuel Technologies
     
  • Optimization of Biomass-Derived Jet Fuel Blends
     
  • Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes
     
  • Advanced Bioprocessing and Agile BioFoundry
     
  • Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy
     
  • Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion
     
  • Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy

For further details, see the EERE Exchange website.

Tags: DOE, BETO

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 22, 2019, DOE EERE announced Ohio State University’s year one win of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.  The EcoCAR competition, a four-year collegiate engineering competition focused on advancing energy technologies in the transportation sector, challenges universities to apply advanced propulsion systems, electrification, and other innovative technologies to transform their vehicles from design concept into reality.  Sponsored by General Motors and MathWorks, the teams have a total of four years (2018-2022) to build an energy efficient, connected, and semi-automated vehicle for the car sharing market. The program builds on DOE’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) by providing the student teams with competition management, team evaluation, and logistical support throughout its four years.

Tags: DOE, EERE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2019 Better Buildings Report, announcing the progress made by public- and private-sector organizations that participate in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Better Buildings Initiative. Aimed at improving U.S. energy efficiency, partners in the Better Building Initiative represent 32 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13 percent of total commercial building space. According to the report, together they leverage new energy-saving technologies, collaborate to overcome obstacles, invest in innovative projects, and achieve impressive energy savings. Investing in the commercial, industrial, residential, and public sectors to improve energy, these market leaders’ achievements include:

  • Savings of approximately $4 billion since the program started;
     
  • Savings of more than six billion gallons of water;
     
  • Cost savings of about $5.3 billion over the last seven years; and
     
  • An increase in the creation of new tools and strategies targeting efficiency barriers, among other achievements further outlined in the report.
In addition, 20 of the partners and allies achieved their energy, water, or financing goals this year.  Since the program began, 85 partners have now met their original goals. The full report can be accessed here.
Tags: DOE, EERE

 

 
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