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DOE Plans to Continue Expanding Ethanol Infrastructure

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10/01/10

DOE Plans to Continue Expanding Ethanol Infrastructure

 

U.S. ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy received a bit of good news Thursday in a letter from the U.S. Department of Energy, reiterating support for the deployment of renewable fuels via 2009 Recovery Act funds.

 

In the letter, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan wrote, "With over seven million flex-fuel vehicles already on the road and millions more being produced every year, the market for renewable fuels will continue to grow. Therefore, there is a need to increase the number of compatible fueling dispensers in order to meet our nation's energy goals, particularly in renewable fuel producing regions of the nation in the near term."

 

In response Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said in a statement that those funds are needed to expand ethanol infrastructure.

 

"We commend the Department of Energy for their efforts to help address some of the infrastructure barriers that prevent our industry from reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs here in America that can't be outsourced, and improving our environment," Buis said. "If we are truly going to realize our nation's energy independence goals, we need to ensure that our entire vehicle fleet and fuel infrastructure are ready to use expanded U.S. ethanol production. Each additional flex fuel vehicle and blender pump gives consumers the option of filling up with clean, renewable ethanol to create a more secure energy future for this country."

 

The DOE letter indicated that Recovery Act funds could be targeted to areas of the country that may lack in ethanol infrastructure such as blender pumps and flexible-fuel vehicles.

"With this is mind, DOE is encouraging grantees to consider allocating or increasing funding to renewable fuel infrastructure programs in those regions of the country most conducive to and in need of increased infrastructure investments," the letter said.

 

"Through consultation with other federal agencies and key stakeholder groups, DOE has developed a program overview document to help grantees identify local industry characteristics and partners that will be critical to successful deployment. Additionally, DOE will work with U.S. Department of Agriculture field offices, and national and regional stakeholders to provide the necessary technical assistance to ensure programs can be designed and implemented expeditiously and successfully."

 

If for whatever reason some of the funds have not been in awarded in the form of grants, the letter said "targeted investments to improve renewable fuel infrastructure are a valuable use of Recovery Act funds for meeting the strategic energy goals of the nation."

 

According to DOE about $3.2 billion was made available through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

 

Growth Energy has its own program called Growth Energy's 2010 E85 and Blender Pump Program that offers funds to retailers to install blender pumps and other alternative fuel infrastructure.

 

"This decision by the DOE will allow EECBG grantees to use some of their recovery act funding to install pumps," Growth Energy spokesperson Stephanie Dreyer said. "It should help expand on the success we have had with our program."

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this is very encouraging, I look forward to hearing about this being carried out.

 

Between this, and Growth Energy's efforts, as well as many of the state incentives... it should be pretty hard for a station NOT to look into this if they are building a new facility, or are upgrading/renovating an existing one!

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From the letter.

 

"Obligations and DOE payments to grantees remain a key measure to evaluate Recovery Act performance; however, if funds have not been obligated by grantees and are available, targeted investments to improve renewable fuel infrastructure are a valuable use of Recovery Act funds for meeting the strategic energy goals of the nation."

 

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/khogan_letter.html

 

So the plan is to ask the recipients of grants to consider using any unallocated stimulus money for E85 pumps. This is what 21-22 months after the stimulus was passed?

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