US Science And Technology Strategy Examined To Address Challenges

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that it will renew its four current Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) with $590 million.

US Science And Technology Strategy Examined To Address Challenges

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that it will renew its four current Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) with $590 million.

In order to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, ensure future energy security, and develop new economic opportunities in rural areas, it is essential to conduct research into the next generation of sustainable, affordable bioproducts and bioenergy from domestic biomass resources.

This research will be supported by the funding provided to the Department. Since their inception, the BRCs have made ground-breaking scientific discoveries and strides in biotechnology that are assisting in enhancing the variety of trustworthy domestic clean energy sources and ensuring that the United States meets President Biden’s ambitious goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

As a low-carbon fuel for some areas of the transportation sector, bioenergy is a versatile renewable that will be necessary to meet future energy demands, according to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “It is essential to continue funding the significant scientific work at our Bioenergy Research Centers to ensure that these sustainable resources can be an effective and affordable part of our clean energy future.”

Each of the four centers, led by a National Laboratory or a University, promotes the science underlying a bio-based economy and aims to break down barriers to establishing a strong domestic bioenergy industry.

The centres include the Joint BioEnergy Institute, led by the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, led by the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in collaboration with Michigan State University.

Maintaining investment in these facilities is expected to result in a variety of significant new products and fuels made directly from biomass from non-food plants like switchgrass, poplar, energy cane, and energy sorghum.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI) stated that Wisconsin has “long supported America’s bio-based energy industry, including biofuels and biomass, that reduces energy costs, creates rural economic opportunity, and combats climate change”.

“The Biden administration’s investment will enable us to uphold this illustrious tradition. These assets will support Wisconsin’s research institutions in their efforts to innovate, enhancing the bottom lines of farmers and producers, creating cleaner energy, and advancing the Made in Wisconsin economy.”

Enhancing the talent that already exists right here in Illinois is one of the best ways for our country to increase its competitiveness with the rest of the world, according to U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL). “I’m pleased that the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will receive this federal funding to help support ground-breaking research on clean energy, create jobs, address climate change, and further secure Illinois’s position as a global leader,” said the governor of Illinois.

U.S. Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) and Secretary Granholm have announced $590 million in funding for the University of Illinois’ Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation to revolutionize the role of biofuels and agriculture in the 21st century energy economy.

Budzinski is excited to see how these resources will benefit family farmers, the environment, and rural communities in Central and Southern Illinois.

The BRCs have led in the development of basic science innovations across the bioenergy sector, from exploring more sustainable agriculture practices to designing microbial processes to produce products.

This latest renewal allows the BRCs to build on their record of accomplishments and represent the culmination of their important research into the science behind and benefits of biobased products and a biofuel economy. Initial funding for the four centers will total $110 million for Fiscal Year 2023, outyear funding will total up to $120 million per year over the following four years and is contingent on availability of funds.