Energy efficiency has become a concern for many
U.S. government sectors in recent years. For instance, the Department of Energy
a total of $175 million to 40 different vehicle technology projects in an effort to
promote the development of lightweight, efficient vehicles. In addition, Boeing
and Siemens recently announced their
new alliance, which aims to improve the Department of Defense's (DOD)
energy and security management.
While these efforts seem very progressive, the DOD
has increased budget pressures that may jeopardize its investment in renewable
energy. According to Rear Adm. Neil Morisetti, the United Kingdom's climate and
security envoy who spoke on a potential partnership between the U.K. and DOD on
August 10, the cost of energy is exceeding manpower costs as far as defense
Despite these growing pressures, Rep. Maurice
Hinchey (D-NY), co-chair of the new congressional Defense Energy Security Caucus,
wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on August 10 to drive the
in renewable energy. Other caucus members joined Hinchey in signing the
letter, such as Reps. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Jack Kingston (R-GA) and the
office of Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).
"Recognizing the critical importance of
mission energy requirements, we urge you to prioritize the department's energy policies
and budgets," wrote Hinchey in the letter. "Investments in smart
energy plans will not only show returns in security and mission success, but
they will contribute to future cost savings and have a unique opportunity to
help foster innovative and diverse energy and clean technologies to strengthen
While Morisetti noted the costs associated with
renewable energy investments, he also said that it's something that cannot be
pushed aside either.
The Pentagon spent $15 billion on energy last year
alone, where 75 percent of that was operational. It's expensive to move this
large amount of energy around Iraq and Afghanistan
where battlefields are located, and can create supply lines "that are
under constant attack."
But Army Gen. David Petraeus is looking for better
ways to manage fuel consumption in Afghanistan.
"Commanders will push for rapid technology
transition of new fuel savings methods to field, where appropriate, and will
pursue existing, proven alternative energy options that reduce the use and
transport of fuel," said Petraeus.