National Defense & Security Initiative
Defining the opportunities for the expanded use of renewable energy in support of national defense
The Department of Defense (DoD) is the biggest single energy user in the U.S., and is expected to spend $150 billion on fuel and electricity over the next decade. This is a 43% increase from the approximately $107 billion the Pentagon spent on energy while fighting two major wars between 2000 and 2009. This will occur as our nation faces significant fiscal challenges and choices that will affect its future security and prosperity. As part of its energy plan, the DoD is employing a host of strategies to harness the power of renewable energy, conserve energy resources and efficiently manage energy demand. Renewable energy and efficiency improvements can increase warfighter capability, increase the energy security of its installations, and cut operational and military base energy costs. The use of renewable energy in combat operations can reduce the need for hazardous fuel convoys, which were associated with 12% of Army casualties in Iraq and 35% of Army casualties in Afghanistan in 2007.
The DoD has embarked on an ambitious program of expanded renewable energy generation on bases and in the field, coupled with focused development in enabling technologies such as microgrids, with a goal of producing 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. ACORE is uniquely positioned to help the DoD meet this challenge by drawing on the collective expertise and experience of its membership: renewable energy leaders involved in manufacturing, project development, finance, end‐use, and professional services.
In partnership with the DoD, ACORE has launched a distinctive multi‐part initiative to examine the strategies and the technological and financial opportunities and challenges related to the expanded use of renewable energy in support of national defense. The initiative highlights innovative ways the purchasing power of DoD and the ingenuity of private sector industries and financiers can be used to lower costs and support the military's mission.
The initiative is focused on the following goals:
- Based on forecasted mission statements and force structures, establishing energy requirements to meet those needs with minimum cost in lives and money;
- Identifying existing and forecast technological gaps that are not addressed by off‐the‐shelf energy technologies and applications;
- Defining next‐generation financing structures that will help DoD accelerate the adoption of renewable energy at both installation and operational levels while minimizing or eliminating budgetary impacts; and,
- Defining model procurement methodologies to accelerate project development, reduce procurement overhead, enhance project value, and maximize results for DoD and the taxpayer.
The initiative includes a series of forums– the U.S. Military and Renewable Energy Industry Forums – and member engagement with DoD uniform and civilian senior personnel in headquarters and the field, relevant federal, state and local policy-makers and agencies and other activities to advance military use of renewable energy.