Looks like “alternative fuel” may soon become more mainstream, if a recent grant by the Department of Energy has the intended effect. The DOE granted $1.6 million to the Alternative Fuel Trade Alliance, which the Alliance will use to increase public awareness and understanding of alternative fuels (including ethanol, biodiesel, propane, and natural gas) and greener vehicle technologies (including hybrid and electric vehicle technologies). Alliance members anticipate that the grant-funded programs will help reduce the nation’s dependence on oil, decrease carbon emissions, and encourage economic growth and environmental sustainability.
According to a Biodiesel Magazine report, the grant will support an education plan designed to inform “Clean Cities Coordinators” and related stakeholders. Specifically, it will train Coordinators (for high-level public speaking), key stakeholders (on fire safety issues), and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) technicians and mechanics (for advanced technology acceptance); raise awareness of sustainability pertaining to green vehicle technologies; increase alternative fuel education opportunities on college campuses nationwide; and increase the availability and use of domestic alternative fuels (in part by increasing the number of states that enforce fuel quality standards).
In addition, Alliance partners have proposed to spearhead several educational efforts, including more than 45 workshops, the authoring of least 20 pieces of educational literature, at least 64 collective independent stakeholder events, two conferences, and four press events.
The Alternative Fuel Trade Alliance includes a number of mainstream alternative fuel organizations, including the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Biodiesel Foundation, Clean Vehicle Education Foundation, ASG Renaissance, and Propane Education Research Council.