The Department of Energy has made it clear that it favors a technology-somewhat-neutral, "all-of-the-above" strategy for developing energy alternatives for the US, as the new Strategic Plan 2014-2018 (PDF) states. What this looks like in the real world is another $10 million for "Technologies to Produce Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass."

That's what the DOE is looking for with a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that has the main goal of finding alternatives to petroleum-based fuels (so, advanced biofuels) as well as products (like plastics) that are made from "renewable, non-food-based biomass, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass." The long-term goal for those petroleum alternatives is an effective cost of $3 a gallon by 2022 as the US reduces petroleum use by 30 percent from today's levels. You can find more information in this announcement: DE-FOA-0001085 (PDF), including the fact that lignocellulosic sugars are not going to be supported by these funds.
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Energy Department Announces $10 Million for Technologies to Produce Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass

April 15, 2014

The Energy Department today announced up to $10 million in funding to advance the production of advanced biofuels, substitutes for petroleum-based feedstocks, and bioproducts made from renewable, non-food-based biomass, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass. This supports the Department's efforts to make drop-in biofuels more accessible and affordable, as well as meet the cost target equivalent of $3.00 per gallon of gasoline by 2022.

The Energy Department encourages industry to invest in the production of cost-competitive, advanced biofuels and bioproducts from renewable, abundant biomass. Advancing and commercializing cost-competitive biofuels will help the Department work toward its goal of reducing current petroleum consumption in the United States by approximately 30%, and, in turn, enhance U.S. national security and reduce carbon emissions. For more information and application requirements, visit the Funding Opportunity Exchange website.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about EERE's work with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies.

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