Renewable Energy Workshops Assist Agencies in "Meeting the Goal"

July 28, 2004

Pie chart depicting federal renewable energy purchases by technology. Breakdown of technologies follow: photovoltaics, 26 gigawatt-hours; ground source heat pump, 179 gigawatt-hours; biomass fuels, 106 gigawatt-hours; solar thermal, 9 gigawatt-hours; biomass power, 92 gigawatt-hours; biomass thermal, 108 gigawatt-hours; wind, 19 gigawatt-hours; renewable energy purchases and credits, 527 gigawatt-hours.

How much of your facilities' energy currently comes from renewable sources? The federal renewable energy goal of Executive Order 13123, as developed by the Secretary of Energy, requires federal facilities to obtain the equivalent of 2.5 percent of their electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2005. That goal is approximately 1,400 gigawatt-hours from renewable energy by 2005. In June of 2000, federal renewable production was 173 gigawatt-hours. Since that time, there has been 834 gigawatt-hours of new renewable energy use added to the federal sector. Agencies still have approximately 400 gigawatt-hours to go to reach the goal. FEMP's "Meeting the Federal Renewable Energy Goal" workshops were designed to show participants how to achieve the renewable energy goals by 2005.

DOE's Seattle and Philadelphia Regional Offices teamed with the FEMP Renewable Energy program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to help agencies make the final push to reach the Executive Order 13123 renewable energy goal. The Seattle workshop took place April 29 and the Philadelphia workshop was held June 15. These one-day workshops helped to facilitate renewable power and renewable energy certificate (REC) purchases by agencies. Given the remaining time available to reach the goal, the workshops stressed these renewable energy options because they have the shortest lead times to procure and are often the easiest, most cost-effective way for facilities to obtain a significant amount of renewable energy. An added benefit is that these purchases promote growth of utility-scale renewable energy nationwide while helping to bring costs down.

The workshops informed participants about the options available, service providers in their region, and the contracting process. The workshops showcased a provider panel that represented the various options available to federal facilities in the region, including: power marketing administrations, utilities, REC providers, and federal procurement agencies. Representatives from regional companies and agencies outlined the specifics of their own programs and answered questions.

Also included was an update on current renewable energy incentive programs available in each state in those regions and a presentation on how the Green-e Renewable Certification Program provides independent third party certification of their widely used Green-e Renewable energy products.

Participants were led step-by-step through the process of how to purchase renewable power from utility green pricing programs or in a competitive market.

The workshops included a discussion for on-site renewable energy projects in conjunction with local renewable resources available: photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind, and geothermal in the West; and photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind, and biomass in the East. This is another way that agencies can meet the goal.

For more information, contact Anne Crawley at 202-586-1505, anne.crawley@ee.doe.gov.