The Greening Of The United States Military

August 26, 2008

It’s pretty safe to say that the military doesn’t spring to mind when you’re making a list of organizations looking to go green. But, just as it does for any business, it makes sense — and it’s important — for them to do so.

According to green tech blog Clean Technica, the Department of Defense is responsible for over 1.5% of all U.S. energy consumption, and it’s now looking at greening the military.

The U.S. military has been trying to green up its operations in response to skyrocketing energy bills, toying with everything from biofuel for Air Force planes to solar panels at air bases. On the ground, the lean green fighting machine is now trying to live up to all its name implies–and save lives in the process.

Joshua hill goes on to describe the United States military’s efforts to expand its use of eco-conscious technology:

One such technology that the military is working on is a portable solar and wind power station, being developed at the Army’s Fort Irwin in California. Within six years, such a device could bring electricity back to locations that have, for example, been damaged by a hurricane. […] The search for renewable sources is not a new trend for the military either. The largest solar power array in the US belongs at Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, Nevada. Guantanamo Bay is powered by wind turbines, and a geothermal power plant has provided China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in California with its energy for two decades.

The Defense Department is trying a few things. From spraying tents with foam insulation — gotta wonder what that stuff is made of, though — to curb heating and air conditioning, which cut down energy use by 45% to researching hybrid military vehicle innovations, the United States military is fighting to be the leaders in green technology.

“If we can reduce consumption on our forward operating bases by using renewable energy, let’s say wind or solar instead of a diesel generator outside the tent … then we can reduce the number of these supply convoys that need to come forward that are getting hit by these IEDs,” said Tad Davis, deputy assistant secretary for environment, safety and occupational health.

Our Perspective:

The US Government should be taking the lead in the alternative energy evolution. With their vast real estate holdings and energy usage it only makes sense for them to be proactive in reducing the demand off the grid and set an example for all Americans to join the movement toward energy independence.

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