Nukewatch Quarterly Winter 2013-2014
The US military is the largest energy hog in the country in an unsustainable situation that even the Pentagon recognizes.
In 2008, the Pentagon spent $24 billion on electricity and fossil fuel — 80% of the government’s energy consumption. In 2010, the military used more than 5 billion gallons of fuel. The military uses more than 125 million barrels of petroleum every year, at times costing $400 per gallon when delivered in Afghan and Iraqi war zones. The Navy alone uses 80,000 barrels of oil daily.
A 2010 Pentagon and Energy Department Memorandum of Understanding says the Pentagon is “increasing its use of renewable energy supplies and reducing energy demand to improve energy security and operational effectiveness, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in support of US climate change initiatives, and protect the DoD from energy price fluctuations.”
Since the 1970s, the Pentagon has been reducing its usage and increasing renewable energy production. Working with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the military aims to get 25% of its energy from renewables by 2025. Private sector investment of at least $7 billion is going into renewable projects on government property. Private companies pay for and install solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. In exchange for land use, the military gets electricity at a fixed long-term rate. Residual energy feeds the civilian electric grid. An entire neighborhood at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona sports roof-top solar panels. The development of renewables is necessary so the Pentagon gets a point for participation. War, on the other hand, will never be green.
— Department of Defense press release, Nov. 20; SolarCity Corporation, July 24, 2013; American Council on Renewable Energy, Jan. 2012; CleanTechnica, Tina Casey, undated. — BU