The United States military is investing billions in solar energy development, recycled water, and insulated tents, but it’s mostly not about saving the environment, its about saving the lives of army personnel, according to a report by Bloomberg.
In Afghanistan, as in any war zone, fuel convoys are frequently the target of devastating attacks. In fact, in some years there has been 1 casualty for every 24 fuel missions undertaken. Being involved in fossil fuel convoys is one of the most dangerous jobs.
The military could substantially reduce its fossil fuel needs in the field by using renewable energy where possible. Indeed, some hybrid solar-diesel generators are already being used at Army bases, and some floodlights with solar panels and batteries are replacing diesel generators.
Back in May, the US Army announced that over the next 30 years it will be spending $7 billion buying energy generated from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. The Army is aiming to eventually become a net zero power user, meaning it wants to generate as much electricity as it uses worldwide. This renewable energy push will include installing 1 gigawatt (about the same as a nuclear plant) of renewable capacity in the U.S. by 2025. In addition, it’s aiming to reduce fuel consumption 30% by 2020 (from 2005 levels).
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