U.S. military embracing energy efficiency and renewables

Jan. 23, 2014
Energy intensity reductions by DOD are due in large part to an increased priority for conservation projects at military installations.

A study released recently by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Navigant Consulting looks at how the U.S. Department of Defense has been pushing hard to explore and make better use of energy-saving technologies and the benefits in cost savings, resilience and security that can be gained from renewable energy sources. 

Titled "Power Surge" the report goes into good depth on the Defense Department's approach to energy security, the legislation and executive orders behind the moves and the various technologies being sought, developed and deployed. Much of the work is being done by private firms and funded by energy-savings performance contracts and production agreements. The advances made have an impact throughout the electrical market, both in proving the value of some technologies and collaboration techniques, and in the immense footprint of the installations.

"The Department of Defense has one of the world’s largest inventories of real estate, with 550,000 buildings and structures encompassing an estimated 2.3 billion square feet. These facilities require energy to run the lights; power communications, computers, and other advanced electronics; and provide heating and cooling. To support and advance its missions, the military has prioritized energy security at all installations. "

Among the reports conclusions, it found that not all renewable energy technologies are appropriate for every location, and state and local laws and prevailing energy markets have considerable influence on the financial viability of both efficiency and renewable power projects.

Here's the report (in PDF format): "Power Surge: How the Department of Defense Leverages Private Resources to Enhance Energy Security and Save Money on U.S. Military Bases"