The best ideas under the sun


In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed the Sun Grant Initiative, meant to enhance the nation’s energy security, promote environmental sustainability, and revitalize rural communities with new agriculture-based industries. The legislation named OSU as one of five centers of excellence to investigate ways to use sustainable agricultural products that are based on energy from the sun—instead of petroleum—for the direct production of fuels and many other consumer products.

Development of bio-based energy may make it possible to reduce the nation’s need for the fossil fuels that now serve these functions. Ultimately, the program should also help relieve shortages of electrical power and record high prices for gasoline and natural gas. And, finding new ways to use sustainable agricultural products should provide additional markets for farm families and rural communities across the nation.

Media Image: 
Credit Text: 
Tiffany Woods
Caption Text: 
Oil made from an oilseed crop at the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center. (Photo by Tiffany Woods.)