The U.S. Department of Defense is the largest single consumer of energy in the world, gobbling up 3.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 120 million barrels of oil per year. It's an expensive habit, costing the agency some $20 billion a year.
So, it makes sense that the DOD, which often has to buy fossil fuel from countries hostile to U.S. interests, would look to other sources for energy. Today, the U.S. military has about 80 megawatts of installed renewable energy capacity. That figure is forecast to grow more than four-fold to 3,200 MW by 2025, according to a report released today by Pike Research.
The DOD has particularly ambitious plans to increase its use of renewable energy. The Army, Navy and Air Force have each established targets of 1 gigawatt of installed renewable energy capacity by 2025 and the DOD has a goal for renewable energy to comprise 25 percent of all energy it produces or buys by 2025.
The research firm predicts U.S. military spending on renewable energy programs, including conversation measures, will reach almost $1.8 billion in 2025. It's an effort that has the potential to not only transform the production. consumption and transport of fuel and energy within the military, but to make the DOD one of the most important drivers of cleantech in the United States, said research analyst Dexter Gauntlett.
Pike Research, in fact, tackled the very subject of the U.S. military as a sort of cleantech savior more than a year.
Photo: U.S. DOD/SPC Ashley Keasler