U.S. military goes green
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The U.S. Department of Defense has tripled its spending on clean energy in recent years, and that investment is projected to grow as the military weans itself from reliance on costly fossil fuels.
Those are among the findings of a new report, "From Barracks to the Battlefield," published by the national security, energy and climate project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.
The report has implications for Wisconsin companies with federal government contracts, such as Johnson Controls Inc., as well as energy technology firms such as Virent Energy Systems Inc., ZBB Energy Corp. and Helios Solar Works.
"As one of the largest energy consumers in the world, the Department of Defense has the ability to help shape America's energy future," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the clean energy program at Pew.
Clean energy investments by the military surged from $400 million in 2006 to $1.2 billion in 2009, and they are projected to top $10 billion a year by 2030, according to the Pew report.
"DOD's engagement in clean energy innovation is real, and it's really impressive," Cuttino said in a conference call with reporters.
Among the areas highlighted by the report are efforts to reduce energy use at domestic military facilities, efforts to equip soldiers with renewable technologies like solar-powered blankets, and efforts to reduce the use of petroleum in military vehicles.
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