As the largest military force on the planet, the US Department of Defense (DoD) is also the largest consumer of energy in the world. Every year, the combined forces use 3.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 120 million barrels of oil, totaling around $20 billion. In order to save some cash and to avoid having to purchase fossil fuels from countries hostile to American interests, the DOD plans on drastically increasing its renewable energy capabilities. In a report published this week by Pike Research, the U.S. military intends to ramp up its existing 80-megawatt renewables capacity four-fold to 3,200 megawatts by 2025.
The Army, Navy, and Air Force have each set goals of reaching 1 gigawatt targets by 2025, and the DoD overall hopes to have renewables make up a quarter of all of all energy it produces or buys. By that time, Pike Research estimates that DoD spending on clean energy will reach nearly $1.8 billion. The report focuses on the DoD’s use of solar, wind, biomass, hydrokinetic, ocean energy, geothermal, and fuel cell technology to supply our fighting forces. With such a massive amount of investment, the US military has the potential to drive the market towards renewable energy and create an institutional trends favoring green alternatives.