Clemson University and Abengoa Energy Crops are embarking on a new bioenergy research and education initiative in South Carolina as a result of a partnership established last year involving university, federal government, and private industry scientists and educators. “We are very excited about these new opportunities for landowners and the information our research will provide,” said lead research professor James Frederick. See the Clemson University press release.
USDA announced that incentives will resume this summer for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). BCAP provides financial assistance to establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility.
Back for its third year!! The Biomass Power Association, U.S. Forest Service and partners have begun planning for National Bioenergy Day 2015. Last year, NBD more than doubled in scope, with 50 events held in the United States and Canada. We are hoping to grow NBD even more this year.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 21, 2015 (which also coincides with Forest Products Week). BPA and the US Forest Service have provided a “how to host a National Bioenergy Day event” planning guide to help you brainstorm ways to showcase your leadership in bioenergy.
Big news!! The EPA released its proposed renewable fuel volume obligations for 2014, 2015, and 2016! If you were to read the EPA’s news release, you would have thought that the EPA was setting volume goals that were going to flood the market with renewable fuels. However, the biofuels industry has responded with disappointment – for the most part. While biodiesel got nice increases in volume obligations and advanced biofuels targets grow over the time period, cellulosic biofuels levels under the proposed volumes are nowhere near statute and conventional ethanol proposed targets are lower that what is actually being produced today!
EPA will hold a public hearing on this proposal on June 25, 2015, in Kansas City, Kansas. The period for public input and comment will be open until July 27. EPA will finalize the volume standards in this rule by Nov. 30. For more information on today’s announcement, go to www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm.
Researchers just published a new study on wood pellet sustainability guidelines and forest market response here in the Southeastern U.S. Woody biomass from the Southeast region is expected to play an important role in meeting European Union renewable energy targets over the course of the next decade. A new analysis, Sustainability guidelines and forest market response: an assessment of European Union pellet demand in the southeastern United States, seeks to understand the interaction between policy targets and forest biomass markets and the effect that this interaction will have on environmental and economic objectives.