Clean Power U.S. DoD installing solar panel

Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Mathias


New Initiatives to Increase Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Military

April 12th, 2012 by  

 U.S. DoD installing solar panel
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.

U.S. DoD installing solar panel

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

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About the Author

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.

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  • electric38

    How about we get out of the war business (especially after the murdered Afghan children incident) and put these solar PV units on American rooftops? Then we could get out of the oil price protection business, while building a nationwide electric vehicle battery charging infrastructure.. Quit letting the war profiteers run our politicians.

  • rommel43

    We need to start using the army like the Romans did. They built the entire infrastructure of the empire, well when we bring them all home from all the random places they are stationed they will need something to do

  • RobS

    There are a few very alarming facts which are all verified by the pentagon, not conjecture. The first is that fuel convoys are incredibly dangerous and expensive, there have been over 3,000 US military deaths in attacks on fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost to ship and protect fuel convoys is enormous, once these costs are added the pentagon is paying about $300 per gallon delivered to a frontline unit, as most electricity in frontline bases is generated by the same fuel and most generators produce about 6kwh/gallon they are also paying ~$50 /kwh, there are often disputes about the benefits of various fuel efficiency technologies’ economic benefits when gas is $4/gallon and electricity is 15c/kwh, once you make that $300/gallon and $50/kwh and there are potentially thousands of lives to be saved pretty much every available technology becomes worthwhile, the ideal are any solution where the energy is generated and used on site so that there is no need for fuel convoys.

    • Rob, seems that you know what you are talking about and I am interested to know where you are coming from.
      I am working on a Wave Energy Converter and only recently became involved in Renewable energies. If you are in the business and/or as gifted as your reply indicates, I think we would do well exchanging ideas.
      I am not a political animal, just a technowiennie with a goal to save the world. Your response shows me that you are in tune more than I am.

      Only just found this article so you may not get this. If you do see this, please contact me.

      Please put Renewable energy in the subject so I don’t accidentally delete.

      Peace, Bob

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