“Energy is the lifeblood of our warfighting capabilities” – GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS
While the federal government is the largest energy consumer in the U.S., the Department of Defense (DoD) accounts for approximately 76% of the government’s energy expenditures. Most of the DoD’s energy expenditures come from fossil fuels. Petroleum-based fuels power equipment, expeditionary bases, tactical vehicles, aircrafts, naval vessels, and other platforms.
Dependence on fossil fuel poses many logistical and security risks for the DoD. A 2010 U.S. Army study discovered that one soldier or civilian was killed for every 24 fuel convoys between Iraq and Afghanistan. The DoD must reduce the overall demand for operational energy, improve the efficiency of military energy use to enhance combat effectiveness, diversify its energy mixture with biofuels and renewable energy, and reduce military mission risks and costs.
The vulnerability of petroleum-based supplies continues to raise both risks and costs for the DoD. However, the DoD is becoming a substantial investor in new energy sources. New investments in alternative fuels and renewable energy can have long-term benefits for energy security by providing an alternative to oil. These investments will also play a vital role in combatting climate change by reducing the DoD’s carbon footprint.
The DoD divides its energy focus into two areas:
Training, moving, and sustaining our forces
Reducing risk and increasing energy security on bases around the world