Summary

On May 22, 2006 the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a Congressional briefing on the contribution of state-federal-private biomass partnerships to address national and state energy concerns. Biomass is any organic matter including wood, agriculture residues, grass and animal waste, that can be used to generate power, fuel transportation and substitute for petroleum in many commercial products. Speakers at the briefing described various types of state-federal-private partnerships and their role in successfully facilitating new biomass projects and activities. Speakers at the briefing described various types of state-federal-private partnerships and their role in successfully facilitating new biomass projects and activities:

Ed Gray – PE, Principal, Antares Group
Tom Stickle – Owner, Monona Farms and Director, Switchgrass for Bioenergy Project (on Conservation Reserve Program land)
Kathy Bryan – Vice President, BBI International
Drew Bolin – Director, Colorado State Energy Office
Jay Jenson – Executive Director, Council of Western State Foresters
Larry Shirley – Director, North Carolina State Energy Office

While production of ethanol and biodiesel have garnered national headlines, many other biomass technologies – which can generate power for industrial and agricultural uses, heat homes and fuel cars, trucks and locomotives – can also accelerate the nation’s use of domestic renewable energy resources. Numerous federal and state efforts are underway to provide financial and regulatory incentives for biomass technology – 37 states have enacted some type of policy to support use of biomass resources, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005, P.L. 109-190) also contains various biomass provisions. However, with this assortment of different technologies, incentives and programs, collaboration and solid networks among stakeholders are essential.

Partnerships among the states and with the private sector can speed the movement of new biomass technologies to the marketplace and replicate innovative best practices from state to state. States are instrumental in effectively testing and moving new ideas from research to implementation. By helping remove barriers to commercialization, these strategic bioenergy partnerships can address energy needs and spur economic development, particularly in rural areas. Federal-state-regional partnerships in biomass build bridges between the Department of Energy’s research-based programs and the field-testing of these new technologies. Regional partnerships can:

  • Create a network of technical experts, researchers, policy makers and advocates for bioenergy projects and technologies
  • Facilitate technology transfer of Federal government research to states and regions
  • Leverage federal funds with state and private resources
  • Monitor development of new technology and bioenergy resources and apply technical expertise when and where needed
  • Implement new initiatives authorized in EPAct 2005 and by the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative

Speaker Slides