USDA announces wood-to-energy deal

By Staff | October 25, 2013

The USDA has announced a new partnership with the Alliance for Green Heat, the Biomass Power Association, the Biomass Thermal Energy Council and the Pellet Fuels Institute that aims to expand the use of wood energy, helping to improve the health and safety of U.S. forests.

The partnership agreement focuses on promoting wood energy nationwide as a means to address fire risks, bolster economic development in rural areas, improve air quality and meet renewable energy goals. Through the partnership and statewide efforts, the initiative will also help more communities learn about federal programs available to support wood-to-energy efforts.

“This is the culmination of conversations over the past four years,” said Doug O’Brien, USDA acting undersecretary for rural development. “We formalized some of the things we talked about on what we can do together to kick it up to the next level.” Among the focus areas will be coordinating and prioritizing private and public research, he said, noting the outreach effort is important to USDA Rural Development.