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US Government to Consume 20% of its Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2020

The President's move to get the government to consume more renewable energy is expected to boost the market for renewables in the years to come.



The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) called December 6 “a good day for clean energy” in the wake of President Obama’s call for the federal government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by the year 2020. This benchmark more than doubles the current level and marks a significant step under Obama’s Climate Action Plan.


In a press release, EDF said it “applauds the Obama Administration for taking this important step toward doubling down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. The President understands that getting our energy future on the right path is an essential foundation that our country needs in order to be competitive, provide jobs and protect our health and environment.”


Investments over the years in renewable energies - such as wind, solar and biofuels – have borne fruit and these green sources of power are now cost-competitive. Obama’s move to substantially bost the government's renewable energy use is expected to make renewables even more competitive on the open market in the years to come.


The president has also directed federal agencies to update their building-performance and energy-management practices. Agencies have been asked to adhere to Green Button and Energy Star Portfolio Manager standards by undertaking such tasks as installing smart energy and water meters; participating in demand response (which balances supply and demand for electricity and provides peaking capacity to utilities); and making data collected from smart meters publicly available in order to better manage energy performance.


Obama first directed the federal government to become a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency in 2009 when he signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

CBS provided this edit of White House Spokeman Jay Carney discussing the details of the plan: