published Friday, December 6th, 2013

Obama tells feds to boost renewable power 20 percent; TVA confident it will meet renewable use target

President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020.

Obama says the government should lead by example.

The president says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs.

Obama announced the plan Thursday as part of a wide-ranging, second-term drive to fight climate change and prepare for its effects.

The directive on renewable energy applies to all federal agencies — civilian and military. The Defense Department has already set a goal that 25 percent of its energy needs should be supplied by renewable energy by 2025.

The Tennessee Valley Authority said Thursday it also should exceed the presidential target for renewable power use.

“TVA has fully met the requirements for federal agency use of renewable generation for our own facilities, and we expect we will easily meet the updated requirements as laid out in the Presidential Memoranda,” said John Myers, director of TVA Environmental Policy and Regulatory Affairs. “We have achieved an agency renewable energy use rate of 7.9 percent, which exceeds the stated FY 2012 objective of 5 percent and the FY 2013 goal of 7.5 percent.

TVA, unlike other federal agencies, has the ability to meet the renewable energy targets in a variety of ways, Myers said. TVA is upgrading its hydroelectric dams to get more hydro power and is expanding its purchases of both solar and wind power.

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