More dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have been released for wood-to-energy and biomass utilization. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said 30 projects in 14 states are funded at $49 million for wood-to-energy grants and $8 million for biomass utilization. In making the announcement, Merrigan said, these projects will promote the development of biofuels from wood and help private sector businesses to establish renewable energy infrastructure and accelerate availability in the marketplace.
Additionally, ARRA funds may help to create markets for small diameter wood and low value trees removed during forest restoration activities. This work will result in increased value of biomass generated during forest restoration projects, the removal of economic barriers to using small diameter trees and woody biomass, and generation of renewable energy from woody biomass.