The virtual Energy Exchange 2021, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), brought together nearly 2,000 attendees from the federal energy and water-management community for more than 40 technical training sessions, plenaries, and timely discussions of the Biden Administration's ambitious climate goals. Below is a summary of the highlights and headlines from this year’s event.
Highlights from Energy Exchange 2021
- Climate leaders inspire federal agencies to take action. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm and National Climate Advisor for the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy Gina McCarthy set the stage by reaffirming the federal government's commitment to leading by example in the effort to address climate change, while extolling the power of democracy and the value of public service.
- FEMP puts the "pedal to the metal" with technical assistance opportunities. FEMP Director Leslie Nicholls announced a series of technical assistance opportunities for Energy Exchange 2021 attendees ranging from zero emissions fleet planning assistance to resilience planning technical assistance to energy storage assessments. FEMP staff also hosted open houses with interactive presentations on FEMP programs, services, and resources.
- Chief sustainability officers commit to partnership and engagement. Federal Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Andrew Mayock, along with CSOs from U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Department of Transportation, General Services Administration, and DOE, shared perspectives on how to leverage the scale of federal facilities to build momentum towards the Biden Administrations' climate goals.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DOD highlight the link between climate change and national security. Senior leaders from DHS, DOD, and the military branches discussed their efforts to integrate climate change mitigation into decision-making and operations. In the DOD Deputy Assistance Secretary panel, speakers especially emphasized the role of microgrids and large-scale batteries.
- Council on Environmental Quality emphasizes environmental justice. Chair Brenda Mallory described the Biden Administration's whole-of-government approach to environmental justice, which affects every aspect of federal facility management, including how agencies engage with local communities and stakeholders.
- Key collaborators describe efforts to accelerate progress in federal sustainability. In the closing plenary, the National Park Service, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Google, and DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy described initiatives they are undertaking today to improve the future air and water quality of tomorrow.
- Google talks "how-to" on 24/7 carbon-free electricity. Google is working to power its operations entirely with carbon-free energy by 2030. The company is pursuing transaction, technology, and policy solutions that federal agencies can learn from to reach the same milestone government-wide.
- FEMP honors 25 federal energy champions in the FEDS Spotlight. Agency leaders selected twenty-five federal energy champions from across the government for recognition of their exceptional accomplishments in energy and water management. Congratulations to the 2021 FEDS Spotlight champions!
- Tech Pavilion and trade show showcase state-of-the-art technologies and new solutions. Experts gave technology demonstrations developed by DOE's national laboratories, industry partners, and federal validation partnerships, including National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s ARIES research platform and the 3D-printed EMPOWER Wall at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The exhibit hall featured a "virtual trade show" that encouraged professional networking and personal connections through live video chats.
This administration is turbo-charging our efforts to slash the carbon footprint of the federal government and we cannot do it without you.
I firmly believe that this is our moment to shine. It’s our time to become the leader of the pack.
Thank You and See You Next Year
A sincere and special thanks to the technical planning committee, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and all the attendees of Energy Exchange 2021. Registered attendees can continue to visit the event platform to view plenaries, current conversations, and technical training sessions on-demand until December 2021. To be eligible for continuing education units, be sure to view technical trainings by September 15 and take assessments by September 26. We look forward to seeing you at next year's event!