Want to make it big in renewables? Talk to the military (they're about to spend $7 billion)


Quick Take: Smart grid and related sectors are still growing, but not at the pace of previous years. Where to turn for new markets? Maybe you should be talking to the military, which the White House is pushing towards renewables. What's more, the military is becoming a major customer in other sectors too, including energy efficiency, building energy management, microgrids and energy storage. Utilities -- do you have bases in your service territory? Perhaps you should be partnering with them so you get the credit for the energy efficiency and renewables they are likely to install anyway. And vendors -- if you're not calling on the military, you should change that right away. - Jesse Berst


Earlier this year we told you about Army's big push into renewables. Now this week the White House is following up by inviting proposals for $7 billion worth of contracts to boost the Army’s use of renewable energy, primarily as a backup to power from the commercial grid. According to The Hill blog, the move is part of a broader push to green the armed forces, despite GOP opposition.


Heather Zichal, White House deputy assistant for energy and climate change, called the move "operationally necessary, financially prudent and mission critical." She claims renewables cut costs for the military while improving national security.