Energy Commission’s Bioenergy Grant Opportunity Addresses Tree Mortality

To help protect forests and support the state’s climate goals, in June, the California Energy Commission released a grant funding opportunity focused heavily on research and development projects that convert waste timber to energy.

California is experiencing an unprecedented tree die-off caused by years of drought and exacerbated by a bark beetle infestation. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that 66 million trees have died so far, significantly increasing the potential risk and volatility of wildfires.

In December, the Governor declared a state of emergency because of the die off and directed the Energy Commission to prioritize grant funding from the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program for woody biomass-to-energy technology development.

The EPIC grant funding opportunity provides:
  • $5 million for research projects that use woody biomass to generate renewable electricity
  • $10 million to demonstrate innovative technologies, techniques and strategies that generate electricity using forest biomass from high hazard zones described in the Governor’s state of emergency message

The Energy Commission, supported by Assembly Bill 865 (Alejo, Chapter 583, Statutes of 2015), is committed to increasing diversity in the energy sector and continues to encourage women, minority, disabled veteran and LGBT businesses to engage in and benefit from its many grant funding programs.

Photo courtesy of the United States Geological Survey

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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