DoD boosts commitment to renewables, smart grid technologies

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By: SGN Staff

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The U.S. military has been involved in smart grid technology in what seems like every possible way, from its buildings to field operations:  renewable energy,  batteries and storage, microgrids and more. DoD's recently released Operational Energy Strategy Implementation Plan strengthens that commitment considerably with ambitious targets for increased efficiency and increased use of renewables, notably in the form of biofuels.

 

As Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus put it, "Reliance on fossil fuels is simply too much of a vulnerability for a military organization to have," according to an article in SustainableBusiness.com.

 

The military has been using energy efficiency, microgrid, tactical solar and other smart grid-related technologies in Afghanistan to reduce the vulnerability of fuel convoys to attacks.

 

Here is a sampling of what the DoD plans to do in the years to come:

·         Obtain 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025

·         Use 50% biofuels for Air Force domestic aviation by 2016

·         Cut fuel use 15% in Navy ships by 2020, and reduce dependence on fossil fuel 50% in the next 10 years

 

Also, the Navy is investing $500 million in biofuels and is using hybrid-electric drives and other measures to increase efficiency. The Navy already has tested algae-based fuel and petroleum blends. And the Air Force is preparing, three years ahead of schedule, to certify that all of its aircraft models use biofuels by 2013. Other Air Force optimization measures are expected to cut fuel costs by $500 million in the next five years.

 

For more on DoD's clean energy implementation plan and its continuing smart grid initiatives, click the links below.

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