Rural Development Energy Programs

A future where America runs on cleaner, homegrown fuels is a priority of President Obama and Secretary Vilsack. As part of his plan the Win the Future, the President has called for 80 percent of America’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035, including wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal and natural gas.

Under the leadership of Secretary Vilsack, Rural Business and Cooperative Programs has a wide array of programs that will help attain that goal and ensure America’s energy independence.

Our programs have funds available to complete energy audits, complete renewable energy development assistance, make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems. We have programs that help convert older heating sources to cleaner technologies, produce advanced biofuels, install solar panels, build biorefineries, and much more. USDA Rural Development is at the forefront of renewable energy financing, with options including grants, guaranteed loans and payments.

Our programs, authorized through the Agriculture Act of 2014, fall into four categories:

The Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program provides loan guarantees for the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries. Read more

The Repowering Assistance Program provides payments to eligible biorefineries to replace fossil fuels used to produce heat or power to operate the biorefineries with renewable biomass. Read more

The Advanced Biofuel Payment Program provides payments to producers to support and expand production of advanced biofuels refined from sources other than corn kernel starch. Read more

The Rural Energy for America Program provides assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of projects, including renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy development assistance and energy audits. Read more