ENVIRONMENTAL SYNOPSIS / DECEMBER 2011 / P. 3
Please Note: The information and opinions expressed in the Research Brief articles do not necessarily represent theopinions or positions of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, nor those of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Military Embracing GreenTechnology
-Tony M. Guerrieri, Research Analyst
he U.S. military is the country’s largestsingle consumer of energy, using more than375,000 barrels of oil a day. In 2008, energycost the military about $17.9 billion. A report by thePew Charitable Trusts details the armed services pushfor greener bases, supply chains and more renewableenergy and technology for soldiers in battle.According to the report,
“From Barracks to the Bat-tlefield: Clean Energy Innovation and America’s Armed Forces”
, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) hasbecome an active participant in green projects. Itfinds that DOD clean energy investments surged from$400 million in 2006 to $1.2 billion in 2009, and theyare projected to top $10 billion a year by 2030.The Pentagon’s continued support of greenerenergy is a potential game changer because of itsenormity. The military spends more than $400 billionon goods and services every year. And, the Pentagonhas spawned a range of modern technologies, fromthe Internet, to the GPS capability now commonlyfound in cars, and the microwave oven.The report finds that DOD’s major energy challeng-es include risks associated with transporting liquidfuels to the battlefield, growing oil price volatility, theimpact of fuel dependence on operational effective-ness, the fragility of energy supplies and compliancewith federal energy policies.The DOD has set a target of obtaining 25 percentof its energy from renewable sources by 2025. In all,the military has more than 450 projects involving wind,geothermal, biomass and solar energy, the reportnoted. Those projects helped the military draw 9.6percent of its power from renewable sources.The Pew report documents how every servicebranch is participating in green energy procurementand research in three key areas: vehicle development;advanced biofuels and energy management, includingenergy storage; and building efficiency.
_________________________________________________ The Defense Department’s target:25 percent of its energy from renewablesources by 2025 _________________________________________________
Vehicle Efficiency:Liquid petroleum fuels accountfor approximately three-quarters ($11 billion) of DOD’s$15 billion annual energy bill. DOD spending to har-ness clean energy technologies for air, land and seavehicles is projected to grow to $2.25 billion annuallyby 2015. To achieve its goal of increasing efficiencyand reducing fuel consumption on ships by 15 percentbetween 2010 and 2020, the Navy is using hybrid elec-tric technologies, improving hull coatings and usingmore efficient materials. A hybrid electric drive sys-tem will be tested on the USS Truxtun, a guided-mis-sile destroyer, and is expected to save 8,500 barrels offuel annually.Advanced Biofuels:DOD has set ambitiousgoals and is taking concrete steps to utilize advancedbiofuels. The Air Force intends to use biofuels for 50percent of its domestic aviation needs by 2016. TheNavy plans to demonstrate a “Great Green Fleet” and,along with the Marines, plans to use alternative en-ergy sources to meet 50 percent of its energy require-ments across operational platforms by 2020.
Each month, the committee’s staffresearches and prepares a number of “briefs” onseveral topics relevant to the Joint ConservationCommittee’s mission.Very often, these briefs include references to reportsand further research on the topics so that readersmay pursue issues on their own.