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
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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.
Review the FY 2020 Renewable Technology Data
|Renewable Energy Technology||MWh||Percentage of 4.7 million MWh|
|Biomass (wood and wood residuals)||389,696||8.2%|
|Biogas (captured methane)||251,066||5.3%|
|Municipal Solid Waste||24,002||0.5%|
|Concentrating Solar Power||9,603||0.2%|
FY 2020 Renewable Electricity Use by Agency
The following federal agencies were the top users of renewable electricity in FY 2020.
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|
FY 2020 Renewable Electricity Procurement Methods
Federal agencies procured 4.7 million MWh of renewable electricity using the following 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.
Review the On-Site Renewable Energy Progress Data
|On-Site Renewable Energy (MWh)||FY 2010||FY 2015||FY 2020|
|Biogas (captured methane)||34,340||134,829||113,972|
|Biomass (wood and wood residuals)||40||77,513||59,486|
|Concentrating Solar Power||252||254||4,801|
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.
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.
Project Potential at Federal Sites
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).