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Renewable Energy Special Projects

USDA is working within the Department and with other Federal departments and organizations on furthering renewable energy and energy efficiency through targeted projects supporting clean energy. For additional information on these projects visit USDA Energy Matrix, and search key word.

Farm to Fly
USDA, Boeing, and the Air Transport Association of America, Inc., are working together to accelerate the availability of commercially viable and sustainable aviation biofuels in the United States to increase domestic energy security, establish regional supply chains, and support rural development.
View Farm to Fly Resolution (PDF, 387KB)
View Farm to Fly Report (PDF, 1.65MB)

Flex Fuel Pumps
The USDA supports the research, investment, and infrastructure that are needed to implement a nationwide biofuels industry, strengthening energy security, reducing emissions and creating jobs. Although there are nearly 10 million flex fuel vehicles on the road, which have the ability to use fuel containing up to 85 percent ethanol (E85), higher blends are not available to give these consumers a choice at the fueling stations when they fill up. The Obama Administration has set a goal of making 10,000 new flex fuel pumps available to America's drivers within the next five years. Funding for flexible fuel dispenser projects will be available through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
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U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Memorandum of Understanding
USDA and FAA combined their experience in research, policy analysis, and air transportation sector dynamics to assess the availability of different feedstocks that could be processed by bio-refineries to produce jet fuels. The agencies have co-developed the Feedstock Readiness Level Tool to compliment the internationally recognized Fuel Readiness Tool already developed by FAA and the Commercial Air Alternative Fuel Initiative (CAAFI) to track progress on alternative jet fuel research, certification, and demonstration.
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Memorandum of Understanding with the Dairy Industry
The Department has teamed with the Innovation Center for U. S. Dairy. Their first priority is the reduction of greenhouse Gas emissions. In 2009, they established a goal and Roadmap for the entire value chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the year 2020. The team is also committed to accelerating and streamlining the process for adopting anaerobic digesters by the United States dairy farm operators through various USDA programs.
View the MOU (PDF, 110KB)

Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Navy
USDA and the Department of Navy are working jointly to encourage maximum use of renewable energy with the goal of providing technical assistance and financial products to qualified entities for the development of advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems to meet both commercial and military transportation needs.
View the MOU (PDF)

Defense Production Act Memorandum of Understanding
The Department of Navy, Department of Energy, and the Department of Agriculture were directed to work with private industry to create advanced drop-in biofuels that will power both the Department of Defense and private sector transportation throughout America. These departments will work in a cooperative effort to assist the development and support of sustainable commercial biofuels industry and to foster mutual cooperation to achieve the goals and objectives. A Request For Information (RFI) was published to help the Government further define its requirements.
View the MOU (PDF)

Secretary's Biofuels Production Roadmap
USDA is developing a comprehensive regional strategy to help recharge the rural American economy. The strategy targets barriers to the development of a successful biofuels market that will achieve, or surpass, the current U.S. Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS2), as set out in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA).
View the report (PDF, 799KB)
View Biofuels Roadmap Stakeholder Input Summaries Report (PDF, 306KB)

USDA Regional Biomass Research Centers
USDA is developing sustainable supply chain strategies and science-based implementation plans designed to accelerate biofuels feedstock production and reduce transaction costs to feedstock producers and biorefineries. Regionalized biofuels feedstock production and conversion systems can minimize transaction costs and create new rural wealth. USDA is coordinating with Department of Energy to enhance work underway through DOE's Regional Feedstock Partnerships and the Bioenergy Research Centers.
Learn More (PDF)

Wood to Energy
USDA's interagency team was established to build opportunities for utilizing wood from hazardous-fuels treatment and small-diameter thinning as feedstock for biofuel and bioenergy. The team's aim is to make better and expand the use of this material helping forest health treatments become economically viable, helping to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, creating green jobs, restoring healthy forests and range-lands, reducing fire risks to the land and communities, and improving water quality.