USDA’s Rural Development department has been involved in assisting rural communities in a number of project areas over the years. One of them is the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
At the recent Cattle Industry Convention, I met with and interviewed Allan Johnson, USDA Rural Development, Senior Advisor. The conversation turned to renewable energy right away since ethanol was a big topic of discussion among livestock producers attending the meeting. Allan talks about the ways USDA has assisted rural communities in this area, like funding feasibility studies.
He didn’t have the statistics at hand, but I obtained some from USDA that include the following:
More than $428.1 million in renewable energy and energy efficient ventures, including $304.9 million in Value-Added and Business Ventures involving wind power, anaerobic digesters, solar, ethanol plants, direct combustion and fuel pellet systems and other bioenergy and energy efficiency related systems. And $58.2 million in Biomass research and development grants and $119 million in renewable Electric Utility upgrades and expansions.
You can listen to my interview with Allen here: Allan Johnson Interview (6 min MP3)