The Energy title of the Farm Bill addresses renewable energy programs used to incentivize research, development, and adoption of renewable energy projects and energy efficiency. As a whole, mandatory funding for Title IX decreased from $694 million to $375 million while appropriations increased from $690 million to $835 million from 2014 to 2018.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is the cornerstone program of the Energy Title. The program provides grants and loan funding to farmers and small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. The 2018 Farm Bill adds loan guarantees that enable producers to install energy efficiency equipment or systems for agricultural production or processing.
The new Farm Bill repealed the Repowering Assistance Program and the Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative.
The Biorefinery Assistance Program was expanded “to assist producers of any combination of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, or biobased products” (USDA ERS).
A new Carbon Utilization and Biogas Education Program was established to focus on the education and utilization of carbon sequestration as well as biogas systems with annual appropriations of $2 million.
Other programs established are the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, and the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels. The Farm Bill eliminated mandatory funding for these programs. The Biorefinery Assistance Program and the Biobased Markets Program were both expanded in appropriations funding.