In early August, John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army, announced the creation of the Energy Initiatives Office (EIO) Task Force, formed to help the Army with renewable energy and energy efficient projects. In a statement that accompanied the announcement he said, “Addressing our energy security needs is operationally necessary, fiscally prudent and vital to mission accomplishment.”
Seeing as the Department of Defense accounts for more than 90 percent of the total Federal Government energy consumption and is the single largest energy consumer in the U.S., we’d say Secretary McHugh is right.
In light of rising fuel costs, the Army has agreed to meet a quarter of its energy needs with renewable energy sources by 2025, and achieve net-zero energy use by 2030. To accomplish this, the Army will need to generate 2.1 megawatts of renewable energy a year, and is expecting to spend $7.1 billion over the next decade.
Assuming all goes as planned, the Army money being pumped into renewable energy has the potential to really kick-start the renewable energy / sustainability industry. The investment should encourage innovation, and create more jobs—which is good for both the country and the environment.