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US Military Can Drive Growth in Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy for Military Applications, a report just published by Pike Research, notably predicts that a renewable energy spend of $163 million in 2013 will increase to $1.8 billion by 2025. US Department of Defense energy policy is of massive importance to the market. This report builds on and backs up earlier predictions from Pike which we first commented on last September.

F35 Tjook / CC BY-ND 2.0

The US DOD is the largest single consumer of energy in the world:

“more than any other public or private entity, surpassing the consumption totals of more than 100 nations.”

If they continue to move towards renewable energy there will be a significant effect on the clean energy economy along with a confidence boost for others to follow.

“U.S. military spending on renewable energy programs, including conservation measures, will reach almost $1.8 billion in 2025,” says research analyst Dexter Gauntlett. “This effort has the potential to not only transform the production, consumption, and transport of fuel and energy within the military; it will likely make the DOD one of the most important drivers of cleantech in the United States.”

The DOD has developed a comprehensive strategy to reduce energy consumption, improve battlefield effectiveness, increase energy security, and reduce costs. These are win win aims. No one would expect the DOD to pander to the Green lobby and we can be pretty sure that these policies are not aimed at making liberals and ‘treehuggers’ feel better. The DOD clearly thinks that renewable energy can improve its effectiveness, reduce its consumption, bring greater independence and reduce costs. This is enough to feel good about on its own.

Targets include 3 gigawatts of renewable power generation at military facilities which will be paid for mainly with third-party finance. Detailed renewable energy and energy efficiency plans are being implemented by each of the DOD’s main branches: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

The report looks into energy conservation actions, such as the movement toward Net-Zero bases, mobile power technologies, microgrids, biofuel and alternative fuel development and deployment, and other cleantech applications for the U.S. military currently underway.

The DOD reportedly consumes 3.8 billion kilowatts hours (kWh) of electricity and 120 million barrels of oil per year. This currently costs approximately $20 billion per year spent directly on energy: 75% for fuel and 25% for facilities and infrastructure.

“The advancement of clean technologies into the mainstream of DOD spending is driven by legislation, national and international policy, departmental strategic goals and planning, technology cost reductions, and innovative financing and procurement tools.”

Renewable energy initiatives which current energy policy have made possible:

  • Targets of 1 GW of renewable energy installed capacity each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force, by 2025
  • 25% of all energy produced or procured from renewable energy sources by 2025
  • 30% reduction in energy intensity on a BTU per square foot basis
  • Development of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet Strike Group powered by biofuel, nuclear power, synthetic fuels, and hybrid propulsion systems
  • Experimentation and deployment of microgrid technologies at both U.S. facilities and FOBs
  • Increased focus on the tools required by the modern warfighter to operate and communicate more effectively in combat zones and on patrol
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One Response to US Military Can Drive Growth in Renewable Energy

  1. JakeyM says:

    I agree, but people need to realize that adding Solar on their house is an purchase that should increase the actual value of their house if / when they decide to sell. With the environment the way it is going we cannot overlook any product or service that gives totally free power at no cost to both the consumer and more notably the earth!