SERA038: Biobased Energy Research and Information Exchange Committee
Statement of Issues and JustificationThe US is currently dependent on foreign sources for petroleum and other vital energy products. These materials are in short supply and are often located in unstable areas of the world. The development of a sustainable bioeconomy an economic system in which biological resources provide not just food and feed, but also fuel, has the potential of reducing our dependence on foreign oil sources while addressing climate change and other environmental issues
The US has established ambitious specific goals for increased production of biobased energy and other bio-based products. The transition to a bio-economy has significant implications for agriculture and rural communities. This transition is a complex process involving agronomic, engineering, economic, environmental and social issues. More research is required to increase our understanding of the fundamentals of the key mechanisms of biomass production and conversion and to develop an infrastructure that allows biofuels and biobased industrial products to become economically viable and cost-effective. Questions regarding commercialization, infrastructure, adequate workforce, and consumer acceptance of these new products also need to be addressed. Impacts on other aspects of the food and fiber system, biodiversity, balanced ecosystems, and the quality of soil and water are also critically important.
Research and extension efforts addressing these issues are currently fragmented. There is an urgent need to coordinate efforts and to develop a network of specialists who can coordinate their specific contributions while developing an understanding of the broader framework of issues. The proposed informational exchange committee will promote and coordinate timely bio-energy related research and provide interaction between research, outreach and industry professionals across the U.S.
Back to Top