A recent report, “Reenergizing America’s Defense,” released by the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate described how the Department of Defense (DOD) has initiated aggressive clean-energy programs in pursuit of its economic, security and environmental goals. The DOD, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of U.S. government energy consumption, wants to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and cut pollution by enhancing energy efficiency and harnessing clean-energy technologies.
“National security experts have been clear in their warnings. America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy constitutes a threat, militarily, diplomatically and economically,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s climate and energy programs. “But, the department is doing more than sounding an alarm; it has enacted energy goals and is inventing, testing, and deploying new technologies and alternative fuels to meet those goals.”
The DOD has set a goal of procuring 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. A few specific initiatives in the report include the following:
• The Air Force has a goal of meeting 25 percent of its base energy needs with renewable-energy sources by 2025.
• The Army is developing a 500-megawatt solar-power plant in Fort Irwin, Calif., that will help power the base and reduce the base’s vulnerability to power supply disruptions. Named a Net-Zero Plus installation, the Army hopes to free the base entirely from reliance on the public electrical grid within the next decade.
• The Marine Corps has launched its 10x10 campaign aimed at reducing energy intensity, water consumption and increasing the use of renewable electricity.
• The Navy is developing a green carrier strike group to run completely on alternative fuels by 2016. It is currently demonstrating the Green Hornet, an F/A-18 Super Hornet powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend.
In the report, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stated: “Energy reform will make us better fighters. Our dependence on foreign sources of petroleum makes us vulnerable in too many ways.”