U.S. Government Exceeds Renewable Energy Goal

U.S. Government Exceeds Renewable Energy Goal

The Department of Energy has announced that the federal government has exceeded its goal of obtaining 2.5% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by September 30, 2005. The largest energy consumer in the nation, the federal government now uses 2375 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy -- enough to power 225,000 homes or a city the size of El Paso, Texas, for a year.

"Particularly in light of tight oil and gas supplies caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it is important that all Americans -- including the federal government -- increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable fuels," said Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman.

"Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass are increasingly becoming viable options for American homes and buildings."

When the Executive Order goal was set in 1999, renewable energy from biomass, geothermal, solar and wind projects only accounted for some 173 GWh. Today's figures represent an increase of over 1000% in the federal government's use of energy from biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind projects.

DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program worked to helped federal agencies meet the goal by purchasing renewable energy or utilizing renewable technologies at individual sites. Solar panels, on-site wind projects and thousands of geothermal ground source heat pumps have been installed across the federal government.

On Sept. 26, 2005, President Bush tasked the Energy Department to report current energy efficiency efforts by the federal government within 30 days. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 set a goal for the federal government to obtain 7.5% of its electrical power from renewable sources of energy by 2013.