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Office of Energy Policy and New Uses (OEPNU)

The Office of Energy Policy and New Uses (OEPNU) assists the Secretary of Agriculture in developing and coordinating Departmental energy policy, programs, and strategies.

Research is currently underway on biodiesel fuels, ethanol fuels, and other sources of biomass energy. Jim Duffield is the primary contact for biodiesel research and energy use in agriculture, and Harry Baumes is the contact for ethanol studies. Both economists are involved with tracking trends in agricultural energy uses. Measurement of atmospheric emissions associated with renewable energy also is under study.

The potential effects of deregulation of electric utilities on rural communities are being studied in cooperation with the Department's rural Utilities Service. Marvin Duncan is the lead researcher.

Beginning in fiscal year 1999, OEPNU assumed responsibility for conducting a program of research on the feasibility and economic and market potential of new uses for agricultural products. Marvin Duncan is the primary contact.

OEPNU also include's in its scope of work renewable electricity and examines the integration of energy with agriculture, the environment, and rural communities. Irene M. Xiarchos is the primary contact for this work. 

Latest Reports

Assessment of the National Prospects for Electricity Generation from Biomass, Purdue University, State Utility Forecasting Group, David G. Nderitu, Paul V. Preckel, Douglas J. Gotham, Elizabeth A. Dobis, April 2014

Renewable Chemicals & Materials Opportunity Assessment, Prepared by Nexant for the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Office of the Chief Economist, U.S.Department of Agriculture, January 2014

A National Survey of Biobased Product Companies - DRAFT R. A. Cox, Director, Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS); S. Devlin, Director, Business Development Program, University of Missouri Extension; R. Basu
Economics Specialist, CIRAS, Iowa State University. Ames, Iowa, August, 2013

Results of a National Survey of Biobased Product Companies R. A. Cox, Director, Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS); S. Devlin, Director, Business Development Program, University of Missouri Extension; R. Basu
Economics Specialist, CIRAS, Iowa State University. Ames, Iowa, March 2013

Factors Affecting the Adoption of Wind- and Solar-Power Generating Systems on U.S. Farms: Experiences at the State Level
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a report that evaluates factors affecting state-level adoption rates of solar- and wind- power generating systems in U.S agriculture. Irene M. Xiarchos, Natural Resource Economist and Policy Analyst, Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture and William Lazarus, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Applied
Economics, University of Minnesota

Biobased Automobile Parts Investigation
Developed for the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Christine Andresen, Christina Demuth, Austin Lange, Paul Stoick, Rudy Pruszko, September 2012

Occupational and Workforce Characteristics of Green Jobs, A Task-Based Approach to Defiing Green Jobs, David Peters and liesl Eathington, Iowa State University, June 25, 2012