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US DOE announces $68m fund for bioenergy crops research

image credit: Originally published at Bioenergy Insight
Marta Ady's picture
Office Administrator Woodcote Media Ltd

Woodcote Media Ltd publishes a number of specialist and leading international magazines within the energy sector. Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight, Fluid Handling magazine and Tank...

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  • Jul 30, 2020

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $68 million (€57.8 million) in funding over five years for research aimed at making bioenergy feedstock crops more productive and resilient.

The research will cover several common bioenergy feedstocks, including sorghum, pennycress, and poplar. The focus will be on the complex interactions between crops, soil, and soil microbes that impact productivity and stress resistance. The research will combine controlled field studies with computational modelling.

Dr Chris Fall, director of the DOE’s Office of Science, said: “One key requirement for sustainable bioenergy production is feedstock crops that can be grown on marginal lands that are not traditionally suitable for growing food.

“This research will help us understand the molecular mechanisms that lead to crops with greater productivity and survivability in stressful environments.”

Projects were chosen by competitive peer review, under a DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for Systems Biology Research to Advance Sustainable Bioenergy Crop Development, sponsored by the Office of Biological for Environmental Research within the DOE’s Office of Science.

The total funding is $68 million (€57.8 million) for projects lasting for five years, with $13 million (€11 million) in Fiscal Year 2020 dollars and out-year funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 30, 2020

The total funding is $68 million (€57.8 million) for projects lasting for five years, with $13 million (€11 million) in Fiscal Year 2020 dollars and out-year funding contingent on congressional appropriations

I'd be curious if there are any funds of policy-based plans to specifically assist farmers to transition from other crops / farming to these. It seems that there is so much of the agriculture industry propped up by artificial subsidies for specific products that aren't necessarily needed, but if funding was made available to train and incentivize farmers to change from those products to bioenergy stocks then perhaps that could be a multi-pronged effort that benefits on multiple levels?

Marta Ady's picture
Thank Marta for the Post!
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