claim: The military shouldn’t be using expensive, experimental renewable energy technologies.

fact: Our nation’s military leaders – uniformed and civilian – believe that using greater amounts of renewable energy saves lives and money, increases operational effectiveness and enhances the nation’s energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil.

  1. The military has several good reasons to move away from petroleum-based fuels:
    • Over 3,000 American soldiers or contractors were killed defending fuel supply convoys in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2003-2007. (Source: CNN, http://cnnmon.ie/jK5ICj)
    • The Department of Defense is the world’s largest single consumer of oil and has a goal of getting 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, http://bit.ly/jvaGS3)
    • Because it does not have alternatives to oil, the DOD spent $15 billion on petroleum-based fuel for military operations in 2011. (Source: National Defense Magazine, http://bit.ly/Io5c5p)
    • 70% of the tonnage required to position the United States Army is fuel. (Defense Science Board, http://1.usa.gov/1aRmeMi)
    • It costs the Department of Defense an additional $1.3 billion – nearly equal to the Marines’ entire procurement budget – every time oil prices rise by $10. (Source: CNA Military Advisory Board, http://bit.ly/Ld34Sh)
    • The Department of Defense’s energy expenditures have increased by 281% since 2001. As a percentage of the overall Department of Defense budget, energy costs have have increased by 2% in that same period of time. (Global Green USA, http://bit.ly/16Z9dgg)
  2. Since 2010, nine different U.S. Navy vessels and aircraft have been successfully powered by advanced, domestic biofuels, including the super-sonic biofuel flight of the F/A-18 “Green Hornet,” the MH-60S Seahawk, the MV-22 Osprey, the T-45 Goshawk, AV-8B Harrier, the Fire Scout unmanned vehicle, the Riverine Command Boat (RCB-X), the USS Paul F. Foster destroyer and the USS Ford frigate. (Source: Honeywell, http://bit.ly/Lor1UM)
  3. Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base has a 14 MW solar facility, which supplies more than 25% of the power used at the base. It is the largest solar facility in the United States. (Source: CleanTechnica, http://bit.ly/JwkxC3)
  4. 7,000 megawatts of additional solar energy can be generated on military installation rooftops in the Mojave Desert, according to a DOD analysis. (Source: US Department of Defense, http://bit.ly/LreMXt)

To learn more, see our Energy Issues page on National Security.