U.S. Military Defense Needs Highlight Importance of Renewable Energy
As the nation’s largest consumer of energy, the Defense Department continues efforts to implement renewables and other sustainability initiatives throughout its operations.
Renewable energy and other sustainability technologies save lives in a very literal sense—if this isn’t apparent through many examples of the need for waste management and water treatment, the U.S. Department of Defense adds further examples:
Since [Col. Brian] Magnuson’s (the director of the expeditionary energy office in the Marine Corps) office was created in 2009, renewable energy systems at the individual or unit level have saved lives by cutting down on refueling trips in battlefields, he said. Two outposts have gotten down to zero fuel use, he said. Technologies developed for Marines include on-the-go solar panels and backpacks that generate electricity. Representatives from the Navy, Air Force and Army echoed his stance.
The focus is now squarely on security, rather than potential savings. A newly created team will go after contracts for on-site distributed generation and smart microgrids, which he sees as forming the backbone of the “Air Force base of the future,” he said.
The Army is also pursuing renewable energy projects on its bases. Last year, it had enough renewable energy to meet 12 percent of its demand, said Richard Kidd, the Army’s deputy assistant secretary for energy and sustainability.
The Army now has 17 large-scale renewable projects at various stages of development, he said. Those in Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma are large enough to “open new markets,” he added.
In an effort to make more communities and stakeholders like the Defense Department more sustainable, Team Gemini works closely with its team members to implement viable technology configurations that result in safety, resource conservation, and other benefits. This is achieved by drawing upon working examples as well as applying proven industry technologies.
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