Energy is at the core of the sustainability challenge. Most of the production, transportation, and everyday processes that we depend on for daily life are energy intensive. With government investment in research and development, renewable energy technology can advance enough to become a low-cost alternative to fossil fuel use. We have begun this transition to lower cost and plentiful renewable energy, but we still have a long way to go. The primary barriers to this transformation are related to technology, infrastructure, and politics, but smart sustainability policy and management from the federal government can help us move past these barriers, and towards a sustainable economy powered by clean energy.