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U.S. Military Accelerates Deployment of Clean Energy Technologies

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Deployment of clean energy technologies is accelerating across military installations operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a report released January 16 by The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Power Surge” examines how the military is using private-sector capabilities and harnessing innovative financing to obtain advanced energy systems. According to the study, the number of energy saving and efficiency projects at military installations more than doubled from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2012, from 630 to 1,339. The number of renewable energy projects increased from 454 to 700 during the same period.

The U.S. military spends $4 billion on energy costs annually to operate its bases. To lower energy costs and enhance security, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have initiated policies and measures to ensure near- and long-term progress in clean energy installation, including the widespread use of third-party financing, in which private developers assume responsibility for funding and maintaining projects.

According to Navigant Research, Pew’s clean energy research partner for this report, 384 megawatts of installed renewable energy capacity are intalled on military facilities in mid-2013. By the end of 2018, it is estimated that renewable energy capacity on bases could increase more than fivefold, to 2.1 gigawatts (GW), enabling the military to meet its goal for the deployment of 3 GW of renewable energy by 2025. Currently, solar photovoltaic and biomass installations are forecast to account for the majority of new, renewable energy capacity at military facilities.

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