BETO publishes new strategic plan

By Erin Voegele | February 03, 2017

In January, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office released a new strategic plan, titled “Strategic Plan for a Thriving and Sustainable Bioeconomy.”

The BETO described the plan as a blueprint on how it will tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in building a sustainable bioeconomy in the U.S. The plan sets the foundation for the development of the office’s multi-year program plans, annual operating plans, and technology program areas. It also takes a crosscutting approach to identify opportunities to adapt and align BETO activities and project portfolios with those in the public and private sectors.  

The plan is aligned with the foals of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan and Implementing Framework. According to the BETO, its plan centers around four key opportunities, including enhancing the bioenergy value proposition, mobilizing our nation’s biomass resources, cultivating end-use markets and customers and expanding stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

Under the opportunity of enhancing the bioenergy value proposition, the plan sets goals for the development and demonstration of integrated value chains for biofuels, bioproducts and biopower that can respond to market factors while providing economic, environmental and societal benefits. Strategies to achieve these goals include reducing costs while improving performance, validating technology while reducing risks, and conducting analysis to inform research and development priorities.

Under the opportunity of mobilizing biomass resources, the plan sets goals to reduce delivered costs and risks associated with feedstock quality and volume. Strategies to accomplish those coals include improved conversion process performance, demonstration of advanced logistics concepts and enabling coproduct and value-added technologies.

The opportunity of cultivating end use markets and customers includes goals to meeting early-adoption market demands, along with catalyzing new markets. Strategies to accomplish these goals include conducting detailed market analysis for biofuels and bioproducts, the facilitation of market development and transformation, supporting capacity building, interacting with midstream consumers, supporting standards development, and others.

Under the opportunity for expanding stakeholder engagement and collaboration, the plan aims to grow an informed community of public and private stakeholders that understand and contribute to an enduring, sustainable bioeconomy, while also appreciating its challenges and benefits. Strategies to accomplish that goal include the development of education and workforce development programs, targeting and engaging stakeholder audiences, strengthening public/private partnerships, engaging and informing public policy makers and several others.

“BETO will leverage its resources and collectively work toward achieving its vision for 2040: establishing a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies,” said the department in the plan.Making this vision a reality will require strong support, commitment, and involvement from many individuals and organizations, including federal agencies; public and private sector organizations; innovators, scientists, and technologists at national laboratories and universities; biofuels and bioproducts producers; and financiers, among others. BETO will continue to collaboratively engage, educate, and inform its stakeholders in order to reach its vision of a secure and thriving bioeconomy.”

A full copy of the strategic plan can be downloaded from the BETO website.