In Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, federal agencies used more than 4.7 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable electric energy—9% of total FY 2020 federal electricity use. The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) helps agencies meet statutory renewable electricity requirements and accomplish their missions through investment in lasting and reliable energy-generation projects and purchases.

Total FY 2020 Renewable Electricity Use

Image shows 9% of total electrity use is from renewables

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Federal agencies used 9% renewable electricity in FY 2020:

  • 4,742,935 MWh renewable electricity out of 52,691,382 MWh total electricity used.

All federal energy performance data is from FEMP's Comprehensive Annual Energy Data and Sustainability Performance website.

FY 2020 Renewable Electricity Technologies

Federal agencies used 4.7 million MWh of renewable electricity generated by the following technologies.

Bar graph shows the distribution of electricity technologies, which are found in the accordion below.

Review the FY 2020 Renewable Technology Data

Renewable Energy Technology MWh Percentage of 4.7 million MWh
Wind 1,851,463 39.0%
Solar Photovoltaic 1,593,956 33.6%
Incremental Hydropower 432,618 9.1%
Biomass (wood and wood residuals) 389,696 8.2%
Biogas (captured methane) 251,066 5.3%
Other Sources 108,360 2.3%
Geothermal 80,051 1.7%
Municipal Solid Waste 24,002 0.5%
Concentrating Solar Power 9,603 0.2%
Biodiesel (100%) 2,120 <0.1%
Total: 4,742,935 100%

 

FY 2020 Renewable Electricity Use by Agency

The following federal agencies were the top users of renewable electricity in FY 2020.

Bar graph shows electricy use in MWh by U.S. agency.

Review the FY 2020 Federal Agency Data

Agency Abbreviation Renewable Electric Energy Used (MWh)
U.S. Department of Defense DOD 1,845,169
U.S. Department of Energy DOE 1,079,728
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VA 407,191
U.S. General Services Administration GSA 230,525
U.S. Postal Service USPS 178,946
U.S. Department of Justice DOJ 140,274
National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA 112,455
U.S. Department of Transportation DOT 100,376
U.S. Department of the Interior DOI 83,489
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HHS 82,259
Other agencies Other 482,523
Total:   4,742,935

 

FY 2020 Renewable Electricity Procurement Methods

Federal agencies procured 4.7 million MWh of renewable electricity using the following methods.

Pie chart showing distribution of electrity procurement methods.

Review the Renewable Electricity Procurement Data

Procurement Method MWh Percentage of 4.7 million MWh
Renewable energy certificate (REC) purchases 1,679,622 35.4%
Direct bonus and REC replacement 1,430,903 30.2%
On-site renewable energy 1,139,340 24.0%
Off-site renewable energy 493,069 10.4%

Renewable energy certificate (REC) purchases: RECs represent the renewable attributes of generation produced from renewable energy projects and are sold separately from commodity electricity. Agencies can purchase RECs to help achieve their renewable energy goals.

Direct bonus and REC replacement: Renewable energy that is produced on federal or Indian land and for which the agency owns the renewable attributes, referred to as on-site renewable energy, allows the agency to claim a bonus toward their renewable energy goal. An agency can own the project and RECs directly, or, if the agency gives up ownership of the RECs to another party, it can purchase replacement RECs to reclaim the bonus.

On-site renewable energy: Produced from projects on federal or Indian land where the agency owns the renewable energy attributes.

Off-site renewable energy: Includes both the renewable attributes (RECs) and the source electricity for the renewable attributes.

On-Site Renewable Energy Progress

In FY 2020, federal agencies used 1.1 million MWh of renewable electricity from on-site renewable energy projects—1.5 times more than in FY 2015, and 5 times more than in FY 2010.

Bar graph shows MWh used by source per year from 2010, 2015, and 2020.

Review the On-Site Renewable Energy Progress Data

On-Site Renewable Energy (MWh) FY 2010 FY 2015 FY 2020
Solar Photovoltaic 70,488 322,714 680,456
Incremental Hydropower 42,744 108,708 204,459
Biogas (captured methane) 34,340 134,829 113,972
Wind 59,266 94,135 76,141
Biomass (wood and wood residuals) 40 77,513 59,486
Concentrating Solar Power 252 254 4,801
Geothermal 2,069 30 25
Other Sources 11,928 437 0.7
Totals: 221,127 738,620 1,139,340.7

 

FY 2020 On-Site Solar Energy Generation

In FY 2020, federal agencies generated 680,456 MWh of renewable electricity with on-site solar energy projects. The top five states for federal on-site solar energy generation were California (161,734 MWh), Hawaii (78,752 MWh), Arizona (62,662 MWh), Maryland (55,013 MWh), and Georgia (48,310 MWh). Solar generation is grouped into ranges of similar output in the map below.

A map showing Fiscal Year 2020 on-site solar generation across the United States.

FY 2020 On-Site Wind Energy Generation

In FY 2020, federal agencies generated 76,141 MWh of renewable electricity with on-site wind energy projects. The top five states for federal on-site wind energy generation were Texas (54,490 MWh), Massachusetts (9,622 MWh), Utah (3,920 MWh), Wyoming (3,244 MWh), and California (2,014 MWh). Wind generation is grouped into ranges of similar output in the map below.

A map of Fiscal Year 2020 federal on-site wind generation in the United States.

Project Potential at Federal Sites

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FEMP uses maps and graphs of federal facility electricity consumption and renewable energy project potential to analyze renewable energy markets and identify achievable projects for federal agencies.

Federal Renewable Electricity Requirement

In accordance with Section 203 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. § 15852), each fiscal year the federal government must consume at least 7.5% of its total electricity from renewable sources—referred to as the renewable electricity requirement.

As defined in 42 U.S.C. § 15852(b), renewable electricity is electric energy generated from solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or new hydroelectric generation capacity achieved from increased efficiency or additions of new capacity at an existing hydroelectric project. Nonelectric or thermal renewable energy, including geothermal heat pumps, does not count toward the renewable electricity requirement, but will be tracked as an indicator for an agency’s OMB Scorecard.

For most recent requirements, see Federal Renewable Energy Use Requirement: 42 U.S.C. § 15852(a) as amended by EPAct § 203 and the Energy Act of 2020 §§ 3002(o), 3006(b)(2) of December 27,2020, 134 Stat. 2497, 2512).