The entire U.S. government -- and its military -- are now looking for ways to use exclusively zero emission power for all of its operations.
Yesterday, the Department of Defense and the U.S. General Services Administration issued a request for information on how to provide zero greenhouse gas emission power to the federal government.
With 300,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles, the federal government is the largest energy consumer in the country. Most of that power is coming from the electricity grid, where zero-emission electricity totaled about 40% of generation in 2020.
But, if the entire government were to convert to zero emission power it would go a long, long way toward meeting the net zero targets the country has set for 2035.
That's why the announcement from the General Services Administration and the DOD's logistics agency is so important.
The government's looking to work with utilities, power project developers, tech companies financiers, and others to buy power from solar and wind for all of its operations by 2030.
It's a target that would mean the US government would be supporting the development of 10 gigawatts of clean electricity production by 2030. If the government wants to meet those targets, the bulk of that power will likely have to come from wind and solar.
In a statement, the federal government said that it intends to have 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity annual demand procured on a 24/7 basis, meaning that the federal government’s real-time demand for electricity will be met with clean energy every hour, every day, and produced within the same regional grid where the electricity is consumed.
“As one of the largest electricity users in the country, the Department of Defense has an opportunity to lead the way in transitioning to carbon-free electricity,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. “It’s not just critical to addressing the threat of climate change, but also to our national security as we work to secure US competitiveness in rapidly-shifting global energy markets. The RFI we released today sends a clear signal to the market that the Department of Defense is well underway in our efforts to support President Biden’s Executive Order to achieve a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035.”