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Forest Biomass for Energy (FBE)

Funding projects that support converting biomass into renewable energy

Program Basics
Authorized under section 9012 of the 2008 Farm Bill, the Forest Biomass for Energy provision provides a new competitive research and development program to encourage use of forest biomass for energy. The program will be administered by USDA's Forest Service.

Project Examples
As of this printing, the agency has not developed guidelines to implement the program. Thus, it has not disbursed funds for any projects.

Priority project areas include:

  1. Developing technology and techniques to use low-value forest biomass--such as byproducts of forest health treatments and hazardous fuels reduction--for energy production;
  2. Developing processes to integrate energy production from forest biomass into biorefineries or other existing manufacturing streams;
  3. Developing new transportation fuels from forest biomass; and improving growth and yield of trees intended for renewable energy.

Application and Financial Information
Pre-proposals will be used for initial screening, using a peer review panel of scientific and technical experts in the field. Full proposals will be requested from those that are selected in the pre-proposal review. Detailed evaluation criteria will be posted on a Forest Service website. Primary application requirements will include relevance to priorities identified in the announcement for proposals; scientific quality and contribution of the proposed research; evidence of external collaboration; clearly defined outcomes, deliverables, and benefits that can be reported annually; and appropriateness/adequacy of proposed budget.

Awards can be made for multiple-year funding up to three years with second - and third-year funding dependent on available funds. Either multiple- or single-year funding awards can have a no-cost extension up to one year.

The Forest Biomass for Energy program has authorized appropriations of $15 million annually for FY 2009 to 2012. Individual project funding is expected to be in the range of $500,000 to $1,000,000.

Eligibility, Uses, and Restrictions
Priority will be given to projects that: (1) develop technology and techniques to use low-value forest biomass, such as byproducts of forest health treatments and hazardous fuels reduction, for the production of energy; (2) develop processes that integrate production of energy from forest biomass into biorefineries or other existing manufacturing streams; (3) develop new transportation fuels from forest biomass; and (4) improve the growth and yield of trees intended for renewable energy production.

Applicants must be affiliated with Forest Service Research and Development, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes, land-grant colleges and universities, or private entities including for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Contact Information
The principal contact at the U.S. Forest Service is
Marilyn Buford
Phone: (703) 605-5176
mbuford@fs.fed.us

Last Updated January 26, 2010

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