679 Renewable Energy Initiatives Supported in 2010

Joanna Schroeder

There were 679 renewable energy initiatives supported by 23 federal agencies and their 130 subagencies in fiscal year 2010. This according to a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on renewable energy. The leading agencies in renewable energy support included the Department of Defense (DOD), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Combined, 60 percent of the projects were supported by these four departments.

Of all the alternative energy sources reviewed, the majority of the supported projects were in bioenergy, solar and wind. There was a mix between projects awarded to public and private sector companies, with private companies winning the majority of awards. In addition, the study found that many projects contained the development of technology that used multiple sources of energy.

Two thousand and ten proved to be some of the highest amount of funds invested in renewable energy, in part due to the allocations of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. However, with those funds spent and not anticipated to be renewed, the study concluded that future levels of funds for renewable energy projects was uncertain.

For the most part, awards were given to projects in four categories: supporting research and development; using renewable energy in vehicle fleets and facilities; providing incentive for commercialization and deployment; and regulation, permitting and ensuring compliance. The study found that within these four key roles, different agencies took the lead in development.  Research and development was led by DOE, DOD and USDA; fleets and facilities was led by DOD and the General Services Administration; commercialization and deployment was led by Treasury and USDA; and regulation, permititng and compliance was led by Interior and EPA.

While the report was robust, there is no corresponding list of the projects cited nor any recommendations. You can view the entire report here.

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