Dear ABO member,
Last night the US House of Representatives passed the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. As you know, this bill funds the Department of Energy. Below please see algae-related language that was included in the House-passed bill. You will note that the House bill includes $30 million for the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to conduct research and development on algae. In the past, the House bill has been silent on algae and we have worked with the Senate to have $30 million added to the bill.
Inclusion of $30 million for algae in the House version is a milestone for the algae industry. In addition to the $30 million, the House bill includes language encouraging DOE to examine the commercial potential for algae-derived products other than fuel and to examine the feasibility of CO2 utilization through algae production.
Keep in mind that the Senate now must pass their version of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill. After passage in the Senate, the two Houses will appoint conferees who will work out the differences in the two bills before the President would sign it into law.
Please review this list of the House votes and thank your Representative if he/she supported this bill.
Algae-related language in the House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill:
1). Within available funds, the recommendation includes $46,500,000 for Feedstocks, of which $30,000,000 is for research and development of biofuels from algae feedstocks,$90,500,000 for Conversion Technologies, of which no funding is included for a conversion incubator; $25,800,000 for Demonstration and Deployment, of which no funding is for the joint initiative with the Navy and the Department of Agriculture to develop commercial diesel and jet biofuels production capacity for defense purposes; and $11,000,000 for Strategic Analysis and Crosscutting Sustainability.
2). The Committee also notes that the oil content of algae is only approximately 25 percent of the total biomass of algae, yet efforts to date have predominantly focused on extracting and processing oil from algae. The Committee encourages the Department to examine the commercial potential for value added renewable products that are derived from biomass intermediates or a slipstream on the trajectory towards biofuels, which might include proteins, fish food, and other renewable chemicals.
3). Carbon Utilization Technologies.–The Committee encourages the Office of Fossil Energy to examine the feasibility of carbon utilization technologies in addition to its work on enhanced oil recovery, such as projects that utilize large volumes of carbon dioxide in the production of algae. The Committee urges the Office of Fossil Energy to coordinate with the Bioenergy Technologies program within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in areas of mutual interest, such as algae production.
In addition to thanking your Representatives for their support, I also encourage you to contact your Senators as they discuss their own version of this bill.