The Director's Column

April 30, 2003

Photo of Beath Shearer, FEMP Director

Renewable energy and sustainable building projects are featured in this issue of the FEMP Focus. These topics are always important, but we highlight them while we reflect on Earth Day, as they are important elements in protecting the environment.

We also bring you the first of what we hope is a series of interviews with key executive level managers and other energy champions. This interview series begins with John Howard, the Federal Environmental Executive. We at FEMP value his comprehensive view of issues related to energy and the environment for Federal facilities and others, and welcome his new focus on sustainable buildings.

I am very pleased to highlight the substantial progress that Federal agencies have made using renewable energy in the past year. This issue highlights renewable energy purchases, on-site renewable energy systems, and forward thinking by agencies like the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management. We also feature a variety of renewable resources and technologies and types of projects. The new solar projects at the White House represent the Administration's approach of leading by example. The small but effective guard building at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrates that renewable energy can solve security problems, improve power reliability, and cost less than a traditional solution. And several of these projects have been financed through energy savings performance contracts and utility energy services contracts. These examples show we are making substantial progress using renewable energy resources. As Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton says in the article regarding the development of renewable energy on Bureau of Land Management lands: "We must explore ways to better capture the sun's light, the sky's winds, the land's bounty, and the earth's heat to provide energy security for America's families."

Sustainable buildings, or high performance buildings, provide an important way to integrate energy efficiency and renewable energy with other environmental objectives in new construction. The articles in this issue show some of the successful projects and methods for achieving and documenting these relatively new ideas.

I am pleased that FEMP can showcase these success stories and thank all the champions in the Federal government, and our partners outside of government, for all their hard work in bringing these exciting projects to fruition. Please know that FEMP is ready to assist you with information, training, renewable energy purchases, design support, technical assistance, and financing options to help your agency or site move toward an environmentally clean and secure energy future. To get started, call your DOE Regional Office FEMP Representative (see page 31) or take a look at FEMP's renewable energy web site at

Beth Shearer, Director
Federal Energy Management Program