The Obama administration confirmed this Wednesday the formation of a new army laboratory that would focus on improving energy efficiency in combat vehicles. The focus of this laboratory will mainly be on fuel cells. Officials stated that the environmental benefits will not compromise the vehicles’ fighting capabilities, but rather improve on them. This is likely only a small part of a series of initiatives to make the U.S. military more energy-efficient over the coming months and years.
The military is a major energy consumer!
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) is one of the largest energy consumers in the World. DoD consumed 932 trillion Btu of energy at the cost of 13.3 billion dollars (based on data from their 2009 version of the DoD Financial Management Regulation report).
This translates to about 90% of the entire energy consumption by the federal government, which again is equivalent to about 2% of the total energy consumed by the United States.
New goals for 2025
A competition has been launched to speed up the transition towards green sources of energy and improved energy efficiency. The goal is that, with the help of these discoveries and innovations, renewable energy consumption on every military base will be equivalent to the power output of three nuclear power plants.
Another important goal (in planning stages, yet to be announced) is the electricity generation of 3 GW at Army, Navy and Air Force bases, which is the combined average power consumption of about 750,000 American households. This will done using renewable energy sources, mainly with solar and wind.
Less dependence on the electrical power grid
The goals above will not only serve the environmental good, but also make sure that the military is less dependent on the electrical power grid — in case of power failures, sabotage, etc.
It is also not unlikely that the technological advancements by research conducted in the name of improving combat machinery will one day benefit the general population as well.
Image Credit: US DoD
Source: New York Daily
Mathias studies Energy and Environmental Engineering. In his spare time he writes about solar panels and other renewable energy technologies at Energy Informative. Connect with Mathias on Google+ or send him an email.