Bioenergy generates more calls and inquiries to AURI than any other topic. Whether it is biodiesel, biomass or anaerobic digesters, renewable ag-based energy questions abound. For energy-related information on the Internet, check out AURI’s Web site: www.auri.org and our Center for Producer-Owned Energy site:www.mncpoe.org
We have found many other excellent sites from around the country. Here’s a quick spin around the bioenergy block that should help answer nearly every energy-related question.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
This is a clearinghouse of information on just about every renewable energy form, including biomass, fuel-cell technologies and solar energy. The site also includes energy-efficiency information.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
A national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, NREL develops renewable-energy and energy-efficiency technologies and practices, advances related science and engineering, and transfers knowledge and innovations to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals. Everything from geothermal and solar energy to biomass and hydrogen fuel cells is addressed.
Anaerobic digesters use bacteria to break down solids such as manure and give off methane gas. The gas can be collected and used to generate heat or electricity. But is the technology right for you? This site provides you with digester information, tools, resources, workshop schedules and a list of experts to contact if the site leaves any question unanswered. AgSTAR is operated jointly by the EPA and DOE.
American Coalition for Ethanol
All things ethanol can be found at the American Coalition for Ethanol’s Web site. It includes the basics in “Ethanol 101” as well as more specific news about new and alternative uses for ethanol – and coproducts such as distillers grains and carbon dioxide. More than 3 billion gallons of ethanol are expected to be used by U.S. consumers in 2004. Those who need to be convinced that ethanol is a widely accepted fuel should visit the ACE site.
National Biodiesel Board
Like ethanol, its more established counterpart, the U.S. biodiesel industry is building momentum. However, some are still skeptical about the renewable fuel. The National Biodiesel Board’s comprehensive Web site explains what biodiesel is and how it benefits farmers, the environment and people who use the fuel for personal or professional purposes.