Accelerating the Development of Vermont's Green Economy

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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Grantee: Renewable Energy of Vermont

Grantee: Renewable Energy of Vermont

Renewable Energy of Vermont (REV) received VBI grant funding to increase bioenergy educational and networking activities through the REV newsletter, local media articles and public awareness efforts. In addition, Vermont’s renewable energy trade association provided industry support through its Biofuels Working Group, made substantive website improvements, and continues to include biomass and bioenergy topics in its annual Fall Conference.

REV’s Biofuels Working Group was jump-started in the fall of 2008, and met regularly to serve the biofuels sector in the state. This group is comprised of a cross-section of key biofuels players from private business, biodiesel producers, fuel distributors, biodiesel fleet operators, other energy related trade groups, and REV. The goal of the Biofuels Working Group was to address the strategic growth of the Vermont biofuels industry with an emphasis on identifying gaps in marketing, public relations, and public policy.

The key outcomes of the Biofuels Working Group (BWG) were to strengthen ties between Vermont’s heating fuel and renewable energy trade groups, and their constituent members, and to share the lead on biofuels legislation. Additional impacts and benefits of the Biofuels Working Group were increased opportunities to share information and strengthen cooperative alliances among its diverse membership. Examples of success included sharing of technical expertise among biodiesel producers, support for the Vermont Biocardel plant in its unsuccessful efforts to remain viable, efforts to define and work towards a Vermont model of locally produced, distributed and used biodiesel, several newspaper op-eds and letters highlighting the importance of biodiesel and the urgency of congressional approval of expired tax incentives, a petition circulated at REV’s annual conference calling on Congress to extend NORA funding, letters to Vermont’s congressional delegation from REV and the Working Group urging NORA funding, an offer by the BWG and REV to assist the congressional delegation in efforts to support NORA, and collaboration on legislative strategies to increase the market for biodiesel. Just one example, a REV Working Group member helped the group draft legislation similar to a pro-biodiesel bill successfully passed in Rhode Island.

REV embarked on a website makeover with the goal to make the REV website the go-to source for biofuels-related information and resources within Vermont. The bioenergy section of the site was expanded to provide historic and general information on bioenergy and biofuels, Vermont-specific information, current news on bioenergy, a question-and-answer section for easy access to basic information, success stories in bioenergy, and photographs to help illustrate the industry practices.

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