From Barracks to the Battlefield: Clean Energy Innovation and America's Armed Forces

U.S. military leads clean energy innovation: Investments focus on vehicle technologies, advanced biofuels and energy efficiency

Over the past 50 years, the fuel requirement to support each deployed U.S. soldier has increased from five gallons a day to more than 22. Energy security also has grown more perilous. These facts are among many influences driving the Department of Defense (DoD) toward clean energy innovation in an effort to reduce risks to American war fighters, enhance energy security and save money.

From Barracks to the Battlefield: Clean Energy Innovation and America's Armed Forces (PDF), a new Pew report, finds that DoD clean energy investments increased 200 percent between 2006 and 2009, from $400 million to $1.2 billion, and that they are projected to eclipse $10 billion annually by 2030. Using more than 300,000 barrels of oil a day in 2009, DoD is one of the largest institutional energy consumers in the world. As such, the military has set an ambitious overall target of obtaining 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. This report documents how DoD is helping to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies in three key areas: vehicle efficiency, advanced biofuels and energy efficiency and renewable energy at bases.

"As one of the largest energy consumers in the world, the Department of Defense has the capability to help shape America's energy future," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program. "DoD's efforts to harness clean energy will save lives, save money and enhance the nation's energy and economic future. Its work is also helping to spur industry growth and demonstrate technological feasibility."

John W. Warner, senior policy adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate and a five-term U.S. senator from Virginia, added, "The Department of Defense fostered the Internet, GPS, computer software and other economically important innovations. Today, our uniformed men and women and their civilian counterparts are committed to transforming the way the department uses energy through efficiency and technology development. Their accomplishments and innovations are enhancing our national security, our economic security and our environmental security."

From Barracks to the Battlefield and the 2010 report Reenergizing America's Defense: How the Armed Forces Are Stepping Forward to Combat Climate Change and Improve the U.S. Energy Posture were both prepared by the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate. The Pew Project is dedicated to highlighting the critical linkages between national security, energy independence, the economy and climate change.

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