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United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Renewable Energy THE BIG PICTURE.

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Presentation on theme: "United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Renewable Energy THE BIG PICTURE."— Presentation transcript:

1 United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Renewable Energy THE BIG PICTURE

2 Part 1. The Big Picture Renewable Energy Catchall phrase for a variety of energy sources Utilize natural and abundant sources such as sunlight, wind, water, geothermal heat Renewable energy technologies - solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, biofuels

3 Part 1. The Big Picture National Priority energy independence national security political instability in oil producing regions global warming and greenhouse gases

4 America’s Energy Appetite 1974 1979 2007 USDA ARS Renewable Energy Assessment Project ( REAP)

5 Part 1. The Big Picture Federal Position Emphasizes use of technology to reduce reliance on foreign sources of energy – Increased domestic energy production of all types – Infrastructure modernization Transport, storage suitable for biofuels – Conservation

6 Part 1. The Big Picture Renewable Energy Incentives Direct incentives for research and development Federal tax subsidies ($.51/gal ethanol & $1.00/gal biodiesel) so that alternative fuels are competitive with traditional sources – Also designed to improve commodity prices DOE funding construction of 6 cellulosic ethanol plants (IA, KS, ID, CA, FL, GA)

7 Part 1. The Big Picture Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 Signed by President Bush 12/19/07 36 billion gal. of renewable fuel by 2022 – Only 15 billion from corn Average vehicle efficiency to 35 mpg by 2020 Bans incandescent bulbs by 2014

8 Part 1. The Big Picture USDA Renewable Energy Incentives USDA Rural Development’s Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program (9006 program) - grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural businesses to install renewable energy systems (ex methane digesters). 2002 Farm Bill – CSP energy enhancements

9 Part 1. The Big Picture New Farm Bill Potential for incentives to transition to biomass crops Guaranteed loans for cellulosic ethanol plants? On-farm energy production and efficiency incentives?

10 Part 1. The Big Picture RC&D Driftless Area Initiative U.S. Congressman Ron Kind on Dec. 20 announced that the Driftless Area Initiative, a cooperative conservation effort led by six regional Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils in the four-state Driftless Area (Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota), received a Congressional appropriation of $618,000 in the 2008 federal budget. Project will develop energy production from perennial biomass crops

11 Part 1. The Big Picture State of Wisconsin Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence – 25 x 25 - 25% of state’s energy from renewable sources by 2025 – Capture 10% of national bio and renewable energy market by 2030 – Lead the nation in research

12 Part 1. The Big Picture State Incentives Wisconsin Focus on Energy - tax breaks and cash refunds for high efficiency appliances and home energy generation- wind, geothermal, solar – Funding for anaerobic manure digesters Funding for soybean crush plant and credit for biodiesel production

13 Part 1. The Big Picture Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center UW-Madison awarded $130 M DOE grant – Partnership with Michigan State University and others – Largest grant in UW history Main focus on overcoming obstacles to commercially viable ethanol from cellulose Part of overall WI Bioenergy Initiative at UW

14 Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program About $2.50/acre $3.75-$4/ton of C stored Traded on Chicago Climate Exchange

15 Part 1. The Big Picture Wisconsin Farm Bureau Carbon Credit Program

16 Part 1. The Big Picture NRCS NRCS Strategic Plan Venture Goal agricultural energy conservation and production

17 Part 1. The Big Picture NRCS National Energy Goals 1. Identify and communicate NRCS role in energy conservation and energy production 2. Integrate energy concerns into NRCS planning process 3. Develop tools and technologies to support energy management 4. Provide training to NRCS field and state office personnel

18 Part 1. The Big Picture NRCS Energy Goals (cont.) 5. Develop partnerships 6. Save energy within NRCS operations 7. Develop technologies and provide information for sustainable biomass energy production

19 United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Renewable Energy The Basics

20 Part 1. The Basics Biofuels Basics The production of biofuels involves organic chemistry. A few people understand organic chemistry, then, there are the rest of us. Technologic developments in biofuel production are rapidly occurring There’s NO FREE LUNCH

21 Part 1. The Basics First generation biofuels made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats using conventional technology biodegradable, relatively harmless if spilled biodegradable

22 Part 1. The Basics Ethanol most common biofuel worldwide produced by fermenting sugars Additive to gasoline Most comes from corn grain or sugar cane (Brazil) 1 bu field corn yields 2.7 gal fuel ethanol

23 Part 1. The Basics Biodiesel produced from oils or fats using transesterification transesterification Oils + sodium hydroxide and methanol produces 10 parts biodiesel + 1 part glycerol Used in diesel engines when mixed with mineral dieseldiesel engine 1 bu soybeans yields 1.5 gal biodiesel

24 Part 1. The Basics Vegetable oil food or fuel usable in older diesel engines (with indirect injection systems).indirect injection systems usually used to make biodiesel, blended with conventional diesel fuel straight vegetable oil cannot be used in most engines

25 Part 1. The Basics Algae faster growth-rates than crops yields 5,000 to 20,000 gal oil/acre/yr difficulty identifying best algal strain PETA may be a big barrier

26 Part 1. The Basics Butanol claimed to provide a direct replacement for gasoline and can be used in gas pipelines not in widespread production.

27 Part 1. The Basics BioGas, aka Renewable Natural Gas Methane produced by anaerobic digestion Feedstocks include manure, organic wastes or energy crops Solid byproducts, digestate, can be used as a biofuel or a fertilizerdigestate Mainly used to generate electricity – Also burned on-farm or cleaned up for gas pipelines

28 Part 1. The Basics Combustion of Biomass Switchgrass, wood, stover…. Burn for electricity or heat Currently <1% of electric capacity in WI Limiting factors – Handling, transport and storage, ash or by- product disposal, air quality permits

29 Part 1. The Basics Second generation biofuels Made from ligno-cellulosic biomass using advanced technical processes – Switchgrass, stover, wood, etc. Limiting factors – Creation of specific enzymes to break down cellulose into fermentable sugars – Transport and storage of biomass

30 Part 1. The Basics Second generation biofuels Not yet commercially viable BioHydrogen ------Biomethanol Biobutanol Bio-DME DMF HTU diesel Fischer-Tropsch diesel Mixed Alcohols (i.e., mixture of mostly ethanol, propanol and butanol, with some pentanol, hexanol, Mixed Alcohols Syngas from pyrolysis w/biochar byproduct – First WI plant planned at Cashton

31 Part 1. The Basics NO FREE LUNCH Biofuels are made from natural feed stocks Environmental costs occur in the production of feed stocks. Our appetite for fuel is massive and growing – Can’t have it both ways

32 Erosion Cost For Grain Ethanol The IA Natural Resources Inventory shows a soil erosion loss of 4.9 tons per acre per year The 2005 & 2006 average corn yield was 170 bu/ac Assume 2.7 gal EtOH/bu Soil loss = 21 lbs/gal Estimate developed by Duane Sand and published by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, 2006 REAP

33 Stover harvest Meeting the Challenge Sustainably Soil carbon Time Management change Modern agriculture Pre-cultivation steady-state + Cover crops + Green manure + Increased efficiencies + Innovative technologies ∆ SOC = input - output + No tillage? REAP

34 United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service What’s happening in Wisconsin?

35 Bioethanol Plants as of May 2007

36 Part 3. Wisconsin Activities Ethanol in Wisconsin By end of 2007, Wisconsin's annual capacity expected to reach 521 million gallons –9 plants producing by end of 2007 Current production – 350 mil gal 2007 Current consumption - 130 million gallons in 2006


38 Water Quality Cost of Grain Ethanol  15% increase in corn acres planted in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin for 2007 (NASS, 2007)  Potential increased loss of 211 million lbs of N to streams & rivers (Elobeid et al, 2006; Wisner, 2007)  Potential increased loss of 20 million lbs of P to streams & rivers REAP


40 Biodiesel Plants as of May 2007

41 Part 3. Wisconsin Activities Biodiesel in Wisconsin 2004 – 2 mil gal produced 2008 – 100 mil gal estimated –Or maybe not, soy oil prices too high to make biodiesel profitably

42 Part 3. Wisconsin Activities Biogas 21 on-farm anaerobic digesters in WI –Leads U.S. 36.6 M KWH/yr produced –Equivalent to use of 3,666 homes

43 Part 3. Wisconsin Activities Cows!! We have lots. 1.2 million dairy cows 7.3 million gallons of milk/day 27.6 million gallons of manure/day!

44 Part 3. Wisconsin Activities Hydro-electric power

45 Part 3. Wisconsin Activities Wind Potential energy production –Large, commercial turbines (at right) –Smaller, on-farm or residential

46 Part 3. Wisconsin Activities Solar Potential energy production –Passive –Hot water –Electricity

47 United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Role: Energy Conservation and Energy Production

48 Part 4. NRCS Role Why is NRCS involved? Not our traditional role, not our strength …..yet. But it is a National priority and state priority We need to help.

49 Part 4. NRCS Role What can NRCS do? Help people produce energy crops sustainably save energy with conservation practices capture and utilize some of the bio materials that are produced – animal and vegetable – for energy

50 Part 4. NRCS Role WI NRCS Energy Efforts Established energy objectives Formed Energy Team –Energy 101 a product WI NRCS Energy web site Outreach and Partnerships Adapting new practices

51 Part 4. NRCS Role Energy and NRCS SWAPA+H still applies Existing energy-related practices, enhancements, and tools New practice standards coming Higher priority in the new Farm Bill –Energy Act may have bigger impact on ag than Farm Bill

52 Part 4. NRCS Role Soil, Water, Air WI corn up 500,000 acres in 2007 –Most at the expense of soybeans (300,000 ac) –Rest from CRP, no-till, pasture, alfalfa, even forestland Soil and water impacts Air impacts: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide

53 Part 4. NRCS Role SWAPA+H cont. How much residue is “excess”? New/different crops coming –Oilseed crops in far northern WI –Switchgrass/prairie plantings for biomass –What opportunities and concerns do they present? Where should they be grown? What are the impacts on wildlife?

54 What Are Our Alternatives? REAP

55 Forestry – 368 million tons Agriculture – 998 million tons –Perennial energy crops – 377 million tons –“Wastes” – 87 million tons –Grain – 87 million tons –Crop residues – 428 million tons  Corn stover – 256 million tons (projected estimates; Billion Ton Report, Perlack et al 2005) Biomass for Bioenergy REAP

56 Football Field If 1 ton = 1 sq in 1 billion tons = 145 football fields Round Bales 5 ft, 1000 lb, laid end-to-end 1.89 million miles 75 times around the earth Comprehending the Challenge REAP

57  Benefits  Renewable  Domestic  Reduces release of fossil CO 2  Additional farm commodity  Risks  Decreased surface residues  Increased erosion  Off-site nutrient and sediments  Decreased SOM  Decreased productivity  Other – loss of winter cover, habitat Biomass Harvest – Risk Analysis REAP

58 Total Nutrient Replacement Cost Stover Harvest Scenario Average for Three Hybrids (’05 & ’06) $ ac -1 $ ton -1 $ gal EtOH -1 Whole plant $ 27.71 $ 9.67 $0.121 † Cob & top 50% $ 18.47 $ 9.49 $0.118 Bottom 50% $ 7.39 $ 10.10 $ 0.126 † † Assumes 80 gal EtOH ton -1 biomass REAP

59 Crop residues are not WASTES, waiting to be used productively. They are used NOW, and have been for centuries, as the PRIMARY soil amendment providing input of carbon and nutrients that are essential for sustained production of food, feed, fiber–and now FUEL. REAP

60 Part 4. NRCS Role Existing “Energy” Practices Manure Digesters (629) Waste Facility Cover (367) Crop Residue Management (329) Nutrient Management (590) Integrated Pest Management (595) Irrigation Water Management (449) Prescribed Grazing (528) Windbreaks/Shelterbelts (380)

61 Part 4. NRCS Role CSP Energy Enhancements Energy audits Annual and perennial legumes Purchase of biofuels Renewable energy production on farm Soil Tillage Intensity Rating Recycling lubricants Reducing energy consumption Supplying crop N w/legumes, manure, etc

62 Part 4. NRCS Role Energy Tools RUSLE2 –SCI, STIR, fuel savings Energy Estimators ( –Animal Housing –Irrigation –Nitrogen –Tillage COMET-VR (soil C sequestration tool) WI NRCS Energy web site

63 Part 4. NRCS Role Future Practices Conservation Power Plant (716) –on-farm electricity from wind or solar –Could include hydropower and biogas –2 FY07 EQIP contracts in Colorado Agricultural Energy Mgm’t Plans (AgEMPs) Incentives for efficiency & renewable production

64 Part 4. NRCS Role WI RC&D Activities Biomass inventory on CRP contracts with warm season grasses Inventory of Driftless woodlands for biomass inventory (USFS grant) –harvest cost study Pilot wind assessment project with interested landowner

65 Diversity Can Make Us All Winners  Ligno-cellulosic technologies can provide viable markets for a wide variety of crops  Landscape diversity can help solve bioenergy, air quality, water quality, global warming (through C sequestration) & rural economic problems – IF implemented as an entire agricultural system. REAP

66 Part 4. NRCS Role Consider the Land First NRCS is the leader in understanding soil and natural resources. NRCS will have a key role in biofuel feed stock production NRCS assists private landowners and public decision makers in conservation of soil, water and other natural resources.

67 An equal opportunity employer and provider.

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