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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.