Obama sets executive branch RPS

President Barack Obama issued a directive on Thursday that requires all US federal executive departments and agencies to consume 20% of their energy from renewable sources by the 2020 fiscal year.

Achieving the target should be done “to the extent economically feasible and technically practicable,” according to the directive.

To get there, Obama set interim targets as follows:

*Not less than 10% in fiscal year 2015;

*Not less than 15% in fiscal years 2016 and 2017;

*Not less than 17.5% in fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

The federal government’s fiscal year is 1 October through 30 September.

The executive branch of the federal government includes the Executive Office of the President and the 15 United States federal executive departments, whose secretaries belong to the presidential Cabinet. There are also cabinet-level officers that head agencies or departments such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

“In order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation's prosperity, promote energy security, combat climate change, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the Federal Government must lead by example,” Obama says in the directive.

He says that departments and agencies should seek to achieve the renewable energy consumption targets, where possible, as listed in this order of priority:

*Install internally-funded renewable energy on-site at federal facilities and retain renewable energy certificates.

*Contract for energy that includes the installation of a renewable energy project on-site at a federal facility or off-site from a federal facility, and retain RECs for the term of the contract.

*Purchase electricity and corresponding RECs.

*Purchase RECs.

The agencies and departments were already working toward greening their energy consumption under an earlier executive order issued by Obama in October 2009. The Air Force, Army and Navy, for example, have each committed to procuring and producing 1GW of renewable energy at their permanent installations (and/or on 65,000sq km of military land opened up for development).

Obama’s directive also outlines steps to encourage continuous improvement and better manage building performance, improve energy efficiency and cut energy waste.