|US Military Goes Green|
|Written by alice freda|
|Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:10|
Tomorrow is Veterans Day - and as we take a moment to honor our service-members of past and present, I'd like to highlight what the U.S. military is working on for the future.
The Dept. of Defense is the single largest industrial consumer of oil in the world. Over the past five years it has spent an average of $15 billion annually on fuel.
But the combined effects of the rising cost of fuel and increasing concerns over the security of troops, fuel convoys, & supplies has led the DoD to embark upon an ambitious renewable energy plan.
Las summer the Department appointed Sharon E. Burke as director of operational energy plans and programs, a kind of departmental energy czar, to oversee the military’s transition to a more energy-efficient and renewable focused future. Ms. Burke will oversee a task force that will assess renewable energy projects, vet potential suppliers, and develop new technologies to support the military's growing commitment to powering its bases and its missions with renewable energy.
This is all part of a Pentagon-wide effort to reduce our military's dependence on fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy sources as it confronts issues of energy costs, energy security for remote bases and operations, and the effects of energy on strategic goals. And while altruistic and environmental reasons may not be chief, the military is so large and has so many resources at its disposal that any paradigm shift on its part can result in huge spillover effects throughout the domestic and global system.
According to Pike Research, a market research firm focused on the cleantech sector, "The DOD is positioned to become the single most important driver of the cleantech revolution in the United States - as military investment in renewable energy and related technologies can help bridge the 'valley of death' that lies between research & development and full commercialization of these technologies." Among the key sectors that will receive significant Pentagon attention and investment over the next two decades are solar power for both permanent bases and temporary facilities, fuel cells for individual soldier power, microgrids for military facilities, and biofuels for military vehicles.
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