WASHINGTON - As a part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy today released plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts such as flooding, sea level rise, severe weather and temperature extremes. These Sustainability Plans and Climate Change Adaptation Plans coincide with the fifth anniversary of President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order on Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, which set aggressive energy, climate and environmental targets for agencies, and detail how the Energy Department’s actions have already contributed to reducing the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 percent since 2008.
“By implementing energy efficiency measures and utilizing clean energy resources at Department facilities across the country, the Department of Energy has reduced direct greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent since 2008,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The Department is committed to demonstrating continued progress in our sustainability efforts, saving taxpayer dollars by reducing energy use and cutting waste, while also protecting the environment by further cutting carbon emissions.”
The Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, which outlines the steps the Department plans to take in order to integrate sustainability into all aspects of its mission, and the Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which serves as a tool to guide the Department’s response to the changing climate, are key components in the effort to build on the Department’s sustainability efforts to date.
Over the last year, the Department achieved a number of significant successes in its efforts to promote clean energy, reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions, including:
· The Department added 33 buildings to its green building portfolio, for a total of 101 buildings that meet the federal guiding principles for high performance and sustainable buildings, representing a 49 percent increase over FY 2012 performance.
· The Department reduced fleet petroleum use by 8 percent from FY 2012, a 16 percent cumulative reduction from the FY 2005 baseline, placing the Department on track to meet its goal of a 30 percent cumulative reduction by FY 2020.
· In June 2014, the Department completed construction of an 11.5 megawatt wind farm at its Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. The five-turbine wind farm is the largest federally owned wind farm in the U.S.
· The Savannah River Site’s new biomass cogeneration facility in Aiken, South Carolina completed its first full year of operations. The project produced 69 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity and 567 billion British thermal units of steam, contributing to the Department’s reduction in energy intensity.
The Department of Energy was also recognized by the White House today as a 2014 GreenGov Presidential Award Winner for a joint partnership with the Department of Transportation. The DOT/DOE Strategic Sustainability Partnership won the Green Dream Team Award for its promotion of facility audits, vehicle fleet improvements, and expansion of sustainable buildings. Through the partnership, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) worked together on a number of initiatives, which resulted in a 5 percent reduction of the Transportation Department’s total fuel consumption and a 20 percent increase in alternative fuel consumption. The Departments also worked together to design proposed air control towers that would be more energy and water efficient.