U.S. Military Leading Renewable Energy Adoption
United States military successfully pushing forward with plans to expand use of renewable energy including portable solar and biofuel
Although Congress has so far been unsuccessful in passing an energy bill and many renewable energy projects in various states have remained stalled by red tape, one agency under federal jurisdiction is successfully pushing forward with plans to expand its use of renewable energy: the U.S. military. Just last week, 150 Marines brought eco-friendly equipment to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, including portable solar panels, solar-powered tent shields that produce electricity and heating, and solar chargers for computers. The U.S. military is increasingly seeking to free itself from the need for fuel lines, and it is hoping that renewable energy technology is the answer.
In recent years, the U.S. military has increasingly investigated employing renewable energy sources, mostly because it is currently operating in many distant and remote areas. In places like Afghanistan and Iraq, fuel is expensive to ship and dangerous to transport. The convoys are often attacked, and one study estimated that on average, for every 24 fuel convoys, one person was killed.
Additionally, renewable energy helps save the military money. Last year, the U.S. military introduced a hybrid amphibious assault ship that saved 900,000 gallons of fuel on its maiden voyage from Mississippi to San Diego. The U.S. military is also planning to have its entire Air Force fleet capable of running on biofuel by 2011.