Obama Directs Feds to Double Renewables by 2020

The White House issued a press release today saying that President Obama had signed a Memorandum directing the federal government to more than double its use of renewable power by 2020. This is the latest step that the President has taken under the Climate Action Plan that he announced in June.

Today's Memorandum instructs the federal government to derive 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, which would constitute a doubling of current levels. The White House explains various mechanisms by which agencies will achieve this goal. Agencies will repurpose formerly contaminated land for use in developing renewable energy projects. Agencies are also required to use the industry-developed Green Button tool, which provides energy usage information to utility customers.

In connection with the overall Climate Action Plan, federal agencies also released their fourth annual sustainability plans, available to the public at http://sustainability.performance.gov/. These plans provide detailed information regarding individual agencies' efforts to meet the President's goals, including their progress toward specific targets.

According to the White House press release, some elements of the administration's climate initiative directly affect private industry.

  • Federal agencies directed $2.3 billion over the past two years toward performance-based contracts for energy-efficiency upgrades, and will expand that initiative through 2016.
  • On Tuesday, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Guide released their 2014 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with detailed information on the fuel efficiency of cars for sale in U.S. markets.
  • The Department of Agriculture on Wednesday launched a program to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for rural residents and businesses. 

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