The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced $29 million in funding to drive research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of low carbon intensity, purpose-grown energy crops critical to accelerating a clean energy economy. (DE-FOA-0003209)
The Regional Resource Hubs for Purpose-Grown Energy Crops funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will advance a domestic supply chain of alternative carbon sources necessary to produce biofuels and bioproducts to decarbonize the transportation and industry sectors, as well as spur innovation and growth across the US agricultural industry.
The FOA will support DOE’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Grand Challenge goal of enabling production of three billion gallons of SAF annually by 2030 and 35 billion gallons annually by 2050, enough to meet 100% of the projected US aviation fuel demand.
It also aligns with the DOE Clean Fuels & Products Shot launched in 2023. The Clean Fuels & Products Shot focuses on decarbonizing the fuel and chemical industry through alternative sources of carbon to advance cost-effective technologies with a minimum of 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
The FOA supports one topic area focused on the advancement of low-carbon-intensity, purpose-grown energy crops across varied agronomic and geographic landscapes through the generation of data and research findings.
Topic Area 1 includes:
Subtopic Area 1a: Algae
Subtopic Area 1b: Herbaceous Energy Crops
Subtopic Area 1c: Intermediate Energy Crops
Subtopic Area 1d: Short-Rotation Woody Crops
These focus areas were identified through the SAF Grand Challenge Roadmap and the FY23 workshop on Deploying Purpose-Grown Energy Crops for SAF as near-term RD&D needs.
Applicants selected for funding will become members of the new DOE Regional Biomass Resource Hub Initiative (RBRH), led by Idaho National Laboratory (INL). INL will coordinate collaboration amongst awardees to share experimental plans, report data, and collectively achieve the funding objectives. Awardees will be grouped (by Subtopic Area and by logical geographic regions) to coordinate feedstock data standards and procedures, and to collectively overcome regional resource mobilization challenges and barriers.