Renewable Energy



GAO: Wind Energy: Additional Actions Could Help Ensure Effective Use of Federal Financial Support 

March 2013

GAO identified 82 federal wind-related initiatives, with a variety of key characteristics, implemented by nine agencies in fiscal year 2011. Five agencies--the Departments of Energy (DOE), the Interior, Agriculture (USDA), Commerce, and the Treasury--collectively implemented 73 of the initiatives. The 82 initiatives incurred about $2.9 billion in wind-related obligations and provided estimated wind-related tax subsidies totaling at least $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2011, although complete data on wind-related tax subsidies were not available. Initiatives supporting deployment of wind facilities, such as those financing their construction or use, constituted the majority of initiatives and accounted for nearly all obligations and estimated tax subsidies related to wind in fiscal year 2011. In particular, a tax expenditure and a grant initiative, both administered by Treasury, accounted for nearly all federal financial support for wind energy.

GAO recommended that to the extent possible within their statutory authority DOE and USDA formally assess and document whether the federal financial support of their initiatives is needed for applicants' wind projects to be built. Report




GAO: Renewable Energy: Federal Agencies Implement Hundreds of Initiatives

March 2012

Governmentwide, 23 agencies and their 130 subagencies GAO reviewed implemented nearly 700 renewable energy initiatives in fiscal year 2010. The Departments of Defense (DOD), Agriculture (USDA), Energy (DOE), and the Interior were collectively responsible for almost 60 percent of all initiatives.

Agencies’ renewable energy efforts increased in recent years as a result of the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and other factors, but the level of future efforts is less certain with the expiration of these provisions and budget constraints. Report

Media Coverage

Institute for Energy Research: GAO Report: Government Redundancy Could Easily Pay for Sequester