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woody biomass

Wood Waste Helps Keep the Lights on in Rural Communities

Perched at the edge of the Great Basin, the city of Susanville, California, has experienced high winds, heavy snowfalls, and wildfires that disrupt power supplied on the regular grid. Fortunately, the city’s 20,000 residents, as well as those in surrounding rural communities, aren’t left in the dark for long.

The U.S. Forest Service Partners with a Montana Hospital on a Renewable Fuels Project

Mineral Community Hospital in Superior, Montana received an $190,000 Woody Biomass Utilization Grant from the U.S. Forest Service.  The new Mineral Hospital Biomass Generator will use woody material such as beetle-killed trees removed from forests to help prevent wildfires.  The material will then be processed in bioenergy facilities to produce green energy for heating and electricity.

Helping Communities Diversify Their Energy Sources

Cross posted from the White House CEQ blog:

Across rural America, biomass like wood pellets and wood chips is helping communities diversify their energy sources, create jobs, and save money on utility bills. At the Forest Service, we are working to support biomass projects that help us manage wildfire threats, and also serve as economic engines for rural communities. Last week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced grants of $4 million for renewable wood energy projects that will provide 20 small businesses, tribes and community groups with the technical engineering and design services they need to explore installing wood heat and electricity projects.

Wood to Energy – Removing Woody Biomass from National Forests Helps Local Economies

The USDA Forest Service Woody Biomass Utilization Team promotes and guides the removal of woody biomass from national forests. Removal of woody biomass from forests provides a variety of critical benefits for rural economies from wood to energy projects to overall ecosystem health. Woody biomass is used in bioenergy facilities that use commercially proven technologies to produce thermal, electrical or liquid/gaseous bioenergy.

Because climate change is having profound and significant impacts on the nation’s forests and rangelands, demands for renewable energy and bio-based biofuels products is increasing exponentially. Forests also play an important role in sequestering carbon, thereby reducing the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Investigating Crop Insurance for Biofuel Sources

Energy crops have tremendous potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs in rural America.  USDA’s Risk Management Agency is expanding its efforts to see if new insurance products can be developed for the producers of these renewable, clean energy crops that are grown right here in America.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established that a mandate that this country’s use of renewable transportation fuels reach 36 billion gallons by 2022.  Of that, 20 billion gallons are targeted to come from second generation biofuel sources, including switchgrass, energy cane, woody biomass and other feedstocks. The Act encouraged biofuels research and development.