Biomass Research and Development Initiative
The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, acting through their respective points of contact and in consultation with the Board, shall establish and carry out a Biomass Research and Development Initiative under which competitively awarded grants, contracts, and financial assistance are provided to, or entered into with, eligible entities to carry out research on and development and demonstration of—
biofuels and biobased products; and
the methods, practices, and technologies, for the production of biofuels and biobased products.
The objectives of the Initiative are to develop—
technologies and processes necessary for abundant commercial production of biofuels at prices competitive with fossil fuels;
high-value biobased products—
to enhance the economic viability of biofuels and power;
to serve as substitutes for petroleum-based feedstocks and products;
to enhance the value of coproducts produced using the technologies and processes; and
to permanently sequester or utilize carbon dioxide described in subsection (a)(1)(C); and
a diversity of economically and environmentally sustainable domestic sources of renewable biomass for conversion to biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products.
The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and heads of other appropriate departments and agencies (referred to in this subsection as the “Secretaries”), shall direct the Initiative in the 3 following areas:
Research, development, and demonstration activities regarding feedstocks and feedstock logistics (including the harvest, handling, transport, preprocessing, and storage) relevant to production of raw materials for conversion to biofuels and biobased products.
Biofuels and biobased products development
Research, development, and demonstration activities to support—
the development of diverse cost-effective technologies for the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels and biobased products;
product diversification through technologies relevant to production of a range of biobased products (including chemicals, animal feeds, and cogenerated power) that potentially can increase the feasibility of fuel production in a biorefinery; and
the development of technologies to permanently sequester or utilize carbon dioxide described in subsection (a)(1)(C).
Biofuels development analysis
The development of analysis that provides strategic guidance for the application of renewable biomass technologies to improve sustainability and environmental quality, cost effectiveness, security, and rural economic development.
Energy and environmental impact
Development of systematic evaluations of the impact of expanded biofuel production on the environment (including forest land) and on the food supply for humans and animals, including the improvement and development of tools for life cycle analysis of current and potential biofuels.
Assessment of Federal land
Assessments of the potential of Federal land resources to increase the production of feedstocks for biofuels and biobased products, consistent with the integrity of soil and water resources and with other environmental considerations.
Within the technical areas described in paragraph (3), the Secretaries shall support research and development—
to create continuously expanding opportunities for participants in existing biofuels production by seeking synergies and continuity with current technologies and practices;
to maximize the environmental, economic, and social benefits of production of biofuels and derived biobased products on a large scale; and
to facilitate small-scale production and local and on-farm use of biofuels, including the development of small-scale gasification technologies for production of biofuel from cellulosic feedstocks.
To be eligible for a grant, contract, or assistance under this section, an applicant shall be—
an institution of higher education;
a National Laboratory;
a Federal research agency;
a State research agency;
a private sector entity;
a nonprofit organization; or
a consortium of 2 or more entities described in subparagraphs (A) through (F).
After consultation with the Board, the points of contact shall—
publish annually 1 or more joint requests for proposals for grants, contracts, and assistance under this subsection;
require that grants, contracts, and assistance under this section be awarded based on a scientific peer review by an independent panel of scientific and technical peers;
give special consideration to applications that—
involve a consortia of experts from multiple institutions;
encourage the integration of disciplines and application of the best technical resources; and
increase the geographic diversity of demonstration projects; and
require that the technical areas described in each of subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (3) receive not less than 15 percent of funds made available to carry out this section.
Research and development projects
Except as provided in subclause (II), the non-Federal share of the cost of a research or development project under this section shall be not less than 20 percent.
The Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of Energy, as appropriate, may reduce the non-Federal share required under subclause (I) if the appropriate Secretary determines the reduction to be necessary and appropriate.
Demonstration and commercial projects
The non-Federal share of the cost of a demonstration or commercial project under this section shall be not less than 50 percent.
Technology and information transfer
The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy shall ensure that applicable research results and technologies from the Initiative are—
adapted, made available, and disseminated, as appropriate; and
included in the best practices database established under section 5925e(e)
See References in Text note below.
of this title.
For each fiscal year for which funds are made available to carry out this section, the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Agriculture shall jointly submit to Congress a detailed report on—
the status and progress of the Initiative, including a report from the Advisory Committee on whether funds appropriated for the Initiative have been distributed and used in a manner that is consistent with the objectives and requirements of this section;
the general status of cooperation and research and development efforts carried out at each agency with respect to biofuels and biobased products; and
the plans of the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Agriculture for addressing concerns raised in the report, including concerns raised by the Advisory Committee.
[Pub. L. 107–171, title IX, § 9008], as added [Pub. L. 110–234, title IX, § 9001(a)], May 22, 2008, [122 Stat. 1318], and [Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a)], title IX, § 9001(a), June 18, 2008, [122 Stat. 1664], 2079; amended [Pub. L. 112–240, title VII, § 701(f)(7)], Jan. 2, 2013, [126 Stat. 2365]; [Pub. L. 113–79, title IX, § 9008], Feb. 7, 2014, [128 Stat. 931]; [Pub. L. 115–334, title VII, § 7507], Dec. 20, 2018, [132 Stat. 4823].)