The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Military Renewables: Why More Than Money is at Stake

In 2011, the U.S. Army spent five billion dollars on renewable energies. But why does the Army care so much about renewable energy? The answer is simple: lives and public funds are at stake.

In wartime, soldiers risk their lives protecting the convoys that deliver fossil fuels to the frontlines. The Army Environment Policy Institute found that approximately one U.S. soldier is killed for every 24 fuel resupply convoys sent to the frontline. More specifically, CNN Money reported that “one out of every eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was the result of protecting fuel convoys.” The use of renewable energy sources, on the other hand, would lighten the load for these convoys, causing the convoys to both get better mileage and decrease the total number of convoys. The AEPI study goes on to claim that “a 10% reduction in fuel consumption over a five-year period could lead to a reduction of 35 fuel-related resupply casualties over the same period.” This is obviously a desired outcome.

Another astounding statistic is that it currently takes seven gallons of fuel just to transport one gallon to U.S. forces through supply lines. The worst part is that a majority of this fuel is used to power the U.S. forward bases themselves. The use of renewable energy sources at these bases would decrease the number of convoys needed to transport energy, which would ultimately be much less expensive for the U.S. government.

Once you see these numbers, it is easy to see why the U.S. Department of Defense is investing $3 billion into renewable energy in 2013. They are also opening up 16 million acres of its land for renewable energy development. To incorporate renewables on the front line, the DoD is also investing heavily in microgrids to establish forward operating bases that are self-sustaining and smart in the distribution of power. By using renewables and microgrids, the DoD plans to reduce the human and financial costs of supplying fossil fuels to the U.S. military. The DoD also hopes to gain a more free-moving fighting force as a result of not having to tie so many soldiers to the convoys.

It took the DoD getting involved in projects like computers, the internet, and cellular networks for them to really take off. I’m excited to see how the DoD investment in renewables and microgrids pushes these industries into a new era. How do you think the DoD’s investments will pan out? Will this have a big impact on the renewable energy industry and microgrids?

This blog was originally published on S&C's Blog and was republished with permission.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



DOE Releases Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Hawaii

Jennifer Delony DOE released a final programmatic environmental impact statement for Hawaii to provide federal, state and county gove...

Record-Breaking Conference Reveals Excitement Surrounding Hydropower

HydroVision International attracted record attendance this July and highlighted many accomplishments within the indus...

ORPC Ireland receives funding for marine hydrokinetic feasibility study

Gregory B. Poindexter The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is funding the Ireland division of U.S.-based Ocean Renewable Powe...

Don’t Like Obama’s Clean Power Plan? Fine, Here’s Cap and Trade

Mark Drajem and Lynn Doan, Bloomberg Republican governors who boycott the Obama administration’s new power-plant regulations may instead get an offer they...


Solar Power World Ranks Florida Solar One a Top 400 Solar Installer

Florida Solar One, a Miami Fort Lauderdale solar contractor is ranked among the top sol...

US Solar Institute Chosen for Military Solar Training at Patrick Air Force Base

In August 2015, the Air Force chose The US Solar Institute (USSI) for a specialized sol...

Canadian Solar Signs Agreement with Mashiki Town and Kumamoto Prefecture to Build 47 MW Solar Plant in Japan

Canadian Solar Signs Agreement for 47 MW Solar Plant

NC State University Installs Student-Funded Spotlight Solar Structure to Drive Awareness and Adoption of Clean Energy

North Carolina State University (NC State) will today showcase its commitment to clean ...



Geothermal Visual: GEA, Clean Energy Organizations Tell Congress: We Need Tax Extenders 'As Soon As Possible'

In a letter dated Oct. 5, over 580 signatories representing clean energy industries, including Geothermal Energy Asso...

Why the Solar PV Industry Should Love Geothermal Heat Pumps Part 3

It’s a marriage made in heaven: Solar PV and Geothermal Heat Pumps Part 3 of a 6-Part Series Geothermal Heat ...

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 4 “Next Steps”

Principles, Structure, and Policies of Energy Democracy Energy democracy can best be described as an electricity sy...


Gary Wetzel is the Director of Commercial & Industrial Business Development for S&C Electric Company. He has over 35 years of experience in the electrical industry working with all markets including projects for utilities, major industrial, govern...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Canadian Solar Inverters Webinar

Canadian Solar is proud to be hosting two free webinars in October! The ...

Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...


SPI Brings Out The Best In Solar

Phew…...those cross-country flights sure take a lot out of a guy....

Connecting The Dots

One of the most important attributes of a true sales professional is the...

7 Pitfalls Of Simple Payback Period

There are many pitfalls of using Simple Payback Period (SPP) as a measur...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now