Strategy EI1.5: Promote renewable energy production in rural areas, such as regionally grown and processed biofuels.
The GroWNC region has a wealth of agricultural and rural areas. In addition to the goal of increasing the deployment of price-competitive, clean, and locally-produced renewable energy, the region also desires to advance its clean energy economy to drive innovation and entrepreneurship, create high-wage jobs, and foster business activity. In rural and agricultural locations, these goals can be met by advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and focusing on the production of regional biofuels. These regional goals can help the state meet its ambitious goal of having 10 percent of the liquid fuels sold in North Carolina come from biofuels grown and produced within the state by 2017.
Funding is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides assistance in the form of loan guarantees and grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of projects. Other incentives to promote regional biofuels production include offering specific tax credits. For example, New Mexico offers a tax credit for up to 30 percent of the cost of purchasing or installing equipment used to produce biodiesel blends containing at least 2 percent biodiesel. The state also allows tax deductions for the cost of purchasing qualified biomass feedstocks to be processed into biofuels, as well as associated equipment.