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Ohio Biomass Program overview

see also: Ohio Biomass Energy

Program overview

Ohio is one of seven states participating in the Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program which was established in 1983. The Regional Program is administered by the Council of Great Lakes Governors and receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The other six states under the Great Lakes Biomass Energy Program are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Regional Program's State Grant Program provides annual funding to seven states to support state biomass energy programs. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) matches the Regional Program funds to operate the Ohio Biomass Energy Program and provides staffing to administer the program.

The mission of the Ohio Biomass Energy Program (OBEP) is to increase the development and utilization of biomass energy resources in Ohio in order to promote energy sustainability and a cleaner environment. The environmental benefits of renewable biomass resources include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants and landfill wastes, as well as efficient use of municipal, industrial and farm wastes. Development of biomass energy resources may stimulate the economic growth in rural areas and provide "green power" options in the competitive electric industry.

To achieve its mission, the OBEP focuses on:

  • Assessing the availability of biomass resources for energy;
  • Encouraging investments in biomass energy technologies;
  • Transferring the results of biomass research and development;
  • Enhancing the development and use of biomass energy; and
  • Promoting the environmental and social benefits of biomass energy.

Program objectives

  • Build a strong coalition of stakeholders interested in promoting biomass resources in Ohio
  • Coordinate participation of stakeholders in achieving the OBEP program objectives
  • Acquire, develop and make publicly available information about biomass resources
  • Help attract private investment in biomass energy projects
  • Provide technical expertise and assistance
  • Develop efficient and useful analytical tools for interpreting the data resources on biomass
  • Emphasize the potential benefits of biomass resources in addressing global climate change and clean air issues
  • Increase the production and use of biomass resources by facilitating innovation and development of biomass technologies
  • Administer grant awards funded through the Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program
  • Manage the OBEP in an efficient and effective manner