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Planning underway to increase energy technology development in rural areas

October 31, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced an agreement between them to promote rural energy and the development of technologies “that will support and advance rural and agricultural communities and domestic manufacturing.” The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was required under the 2018 Farm Bill, is expected to increase the economic development of rural areas through new energy technologies and investments.

A release from the DOE detailed the areas covered by the MOU including facilitating energy-related investments in America's rural communities; streamlining, leveraging and optimizing program resources; encouraging innovation; offering technical assistance to rural communities; strengthening energy-related infrastructure; ensuring affordable and reliable power; and, helping rural businesses export energy products and manufactured goods around the world.

USDA and DOE have convened interagency working groups that will focus on the following areas:

  • Develop and expand energy- and manufacturing-related businesses, industries and technologies in rural America;
  • Encourage investments in new or improved rural energy infrastructure; 
  • Enhance capital access for energy-related businesses and industries in rural America;
  • Support rural community investments that anticipate growth associated with rural energy investment and development; and,
  • Encourage, support and invest in cyber security initiatives and grid improvement.
rural, doe, usda, energy