TDA seeks bioenergy proposals

Posted April 7, 2010, at 12:50 p.m. CST

As diversifying the state's energy resources becomes increasingly important, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples April 7 announced the Texas Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Comptroller's State Energy Conservation Office, is requesting proposals from entities to conduct a comprehensive bioenergy study.

"Diversifying the state's energy mix is a critical component to the economic future of Texas," Staples said. "Creating a renewable fuels strategy that does not abandon market principles puts us on a path to energy independence while offering job growth and opportunities for rural economic development."

The report will identify the state's bioenergy needs and investigate opportunities for Texas within the renewable energy industry. The goal of the study is to provide TDA, the Texas Bioenergy Policy Council, the Texas Bioenergy Research Committee and the Texas Legislature with an in-depth review of the capabilities and challenges of the Texas bioenergy industry.

The study will be partially funded by a cooperative agreement with the Comptroller's State Energy Conservation Office. "With more than 15 different energy sources, Texas is the national leader in energy production," Comptroller Susan Combs said. "The state's vast energy resources extend to bioenergy opportunities."

In 2009, the Texas Bioenergy Policy Council and the Texas Bioenergy Research Committee were created by the 81st Texas Legislature to make the state a leader in biofuel and biomass-based electricity production. Commissioner Staples chairs the 18-member board of the Texas Bioenergy Policy Council, which is comprised of policy makers and industry experts.

The bioenergy industry study must examine various bioenergy feedstocks; the logistical challenges related to the production and transport of biomass; and the integration of bioenergy to meet the state's energy demands.

State, local and government agencies, individuals, private entities and universities may submit proposals until April 26. For more information, please click here or or visit