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    Wednesday, September 11, 2013


    Which Branch of the Military Uses More Green Energy?

    Sara Murphy, August 11, 2013 (Motley Fool)

    "...The services are working hard to position themselves as green...[and] environmentally friendly. This is a trend that's only going to intensify going forward. Considering that the U.S. military is the world's largest fossil-fuel consumer, this is going to matter..."

    Iraqi fuel trucks convoy out the gate as Marines from 1st and 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, Military Transition Teams (117 and 317 MiTT), prepare their vehicles at Camp Taji, Iraq, on Dec. 4, 2007, during a five day mission to the Baji Oil Refinery. The 317 MiTT is advising Iraqi Army personnel during Operation FAIRPLAY. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brook R. Kelsey

    "...[L]et's look at the numbers: $7 billion. That's how much the Army alone is plowing into renewables. Or how about 3 gigawatts? That's how much generation the military as a whole expects from renewable sources by 2025, in keeping with a commitment President Obama made last year..."

    A solar-powered vehicle is parked at Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla., July 29, 2010. NAVFAC Southeast offers a variety of alternative fuels vehicles for rent to its supported commands throughout the region. U.S. Navy photo by Matt Simons

    "...This all began in 2006 under George W. Bush and a Republican Congress. The Defense Authorization Act for 2007 mandated that the military 'produce or procure not less than 25 percent of the total electric energy it consumes during FY2025 and thereafter from renewable energy sources'...

    "The mission of the Coast Guard's Office of Energy Management is 'to foster the supply of energy commodities and the execution of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects in a sustainable, reliable, and accountable fashion.' The Coast Guard doesn't publish a ton of details about its initiatives, but it is explicit about increasing its consumption of renewables as part of its energy management strategy..."

    Contractors begin installation of solar panels on the frame work of phase 1 in front of building 271 at Los Angeles AFB, Space and Missile Systems Center, March 2, 2010. U.S. Air Force Photo by Lou Hernandez

    "The Air Force's Net Zero Plan aims for the service 'to consume no more energy than is generated,' using a suite of strategies that include efficiency initiatives and increased use of renewables. Its One Gigawatt Plan will develop 1 GW of renewable energy on Air Force installations by 2016. Much of that amount will be achieved through Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs...

    "...The Marine Corps is developing hybrid systems that combine solar generation with legacy, jet fuel-powered generators. These systems augment traditional generators with solar photovoltaic panels, battery storage, and smart controls, dramatically improving their efficiency. These systems are the next generation of technologies that the Marine Corps has already deployed successfully. Indeed, two of its patrol bases in Afghanistan operated entirely on solar power in the summer of 2010..."

    Japanese contractors install solar panels on the Public Works building roof at Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, part of a $564,000 project to improve energy efficiency on base. This marks the first time solar panels have been used on the base. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Doolin

    "...The Navy already derives 12% of its current electricity consumption from renewable sources. It calls its approach to further renewable development 'Watch-Partner-Lead.' In essence, the Navy keeps an eye on developments in relevant technologies, partners with appropriate entities to promote further technological advancement, and leads 'the development of mission-critical technology.' One of its significant initiatives is the development of a Great Green Fleet, a Carrier Strike Group of ships powered by alternative fuel sources. Back on land, the Navy aims to produce at least half of the energy for its installations from renewable sources by 2020..."

    "The Army...[recently] awarded an unprecedented $7 billion in contracts to produce geothermal power for Army installations. Among the lucky awardees are Constellation New Energy, a unit of Exelon (EXE), and Siemens Government Technology, a unit of Siemens (SI). Like the Air Force, the Army will use PPAs as its vehicle. Importantly, this is just the beginning of the Army's spending spree. According to an Army press release, 'Announcement of awards for the remaining technologies, solar, wind and biomass, are anticipated for staggered release through the end of calendar year 2013'..."

    This field of solar collectors in Swanton, Ohio, photographed Oct. 19, 2009, belongs to the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard. It was built in October 2010 as part of the wing's renewable energy project funded by the Department of Defense Research and Development Program. The solar field is expected to produce 800 to 900 kilowatts of electricity, allowing the fighter wing to save about 37.5% on its annual electric bill, reduce its coal consumption, and reduce harmful emissions and greenhouse gasses. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Beth Holliker

    "The military branches are conducting much of their renewables development for installations through PPAs. That means they aren't going to own generation facilities -- rather, developers will use private financing to build out renewable generation facilities, secure in the steady stream of future revenue that PPAs provide. With this reliable cash flow, companies such as Exelon and Siemens can place safe bets on further development and R&D in the renewables space. This process will create a virtuous cycle, where renewables in general continue to become more efficient and less expensive, further improving their competitiveness in our energy landscape..."

    U.S. Marines assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., test solar energy panels to help reduce the need for supplies in the field at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., July 30, 2010. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michael C. Nerl

    "This trend is significant enough to be a game-changer. The military, with its colossal resources and voracious energy appetite, is in the position to set agendas. In its quest to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and foreign energy sources, the military has the potential to move renewable power from the fringe to the core of our energy landscape..."


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