The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) have announced “a partnership to explore how renewable energy can help the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) achieve mission objectives, save taxpayer money, and reduce risks associated with reliance on fossil fuels.” Here’s the rest of the announcement, from AEE:
The two organizations announced a multi-part forum series to be held throughout 2012 in collaboration with the DOD to help increase U.S. military effectiveness through the integration and deployment of renewable energy solutions. Key areas of focus identified by the DOD include technological and financial opportunities and challenges related to the expanded use of renewable energy in support of national defense.
“Our armed forces know the dangers of overdependence on oil better than anyone, and advanced energy companies stand ready to help the Defense Department meet its energy needs in new ways,” said Nick d’Arbeloff, President of Regional Development and National Programs for Advanced Energy Economy. “Renewable energy is an important part of the answer, along with energy efficiency and energy management technologies.”
“America’s continued reliance on foreign oil resources presents a serious and urgent threat to our national and economic security. The U.S. military, used to planning strategic campaigns to manage risk, has taken a leading role in deploying renewable energy as threat mitigation,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) Dennis McGinn, President of ACORE. “Let’s learn from their example and find ways for the renewable energy industry to work with the military to create an energy future that will ensure and enhance America’s national security and prosperity.”
The Department of Defense is the largest industrial consumer of oil in the world, using 125 million barrels of oil in FY 2010, which was more than that consumed by 82% of the world’s countries individually in 2010. DOD is projected to spend $150 billion over the next decade on fuel and electricity. The use of renewable energy in combat operations can reduce the need for hazardous fuel convoys, which were associated with 12% of Army casualties in Iraq and 35% of Army casualties in Afghanistan in 2007. Renewable energy and efficiency improvements can also cut energy costs on military bases and other permanent installations.
The Department of Defense has pledged to draw 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, and recently committed as part of President Obama’s January 2012 State of the Union address that the Navy will purchase enough clean energy capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year. ACORE and AEE are uniquely positioned to help DOD meet this challenge by drawing on the collective expertise and experience of their members, which include advanced energy industry associations, utilities, end users, professional service firms, financial institutions, educational institutions, nonprofit groups, and government agencies.
For this first forum, ACORE and AEE have produced a primer for companies describing the military’s commitment to advanced energy and outlining resources for companies interested in working effectively with the DOD, as well as case studies of successful collaborations between the military and three companies: Lockheed Martin, for the development of portable microgrid systems to efficiently manage power systems at temporary and permanent bases and to integrate more renewable energy; SunPower, for developing the first large-scale solar photovoltaic installation for a military base that will be financed through a 20-year power-purchase agreement; and Ocean Power Technologies, for developing, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, wave-power technology for remote, ocean-based sensing equipment and other “power at sea” applications. Also, ACORE and AEE have created an infographic that illustrates key data on the military’s energy challenges and some advanced energy solutions. The primer, case studies and infographic can all be found at the following link: www.aee.net/DoD-partnership.
Following the forum series, ACORE and AEE will establish a member-led initiative to support continued collaboration between DOD and the advanced energy industry through activities such as market, technology, procurement and policy analysis; meetings; conferences; and communications.
The first event of the forum series, “Collaboration on Technology, Procurement and Finance Solutions to Enhance National Defense,” focusing on renewable energy integration and increasing U.S. military and warfighter effectiveness, is scheduled for January 26, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Image Credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page