The Obama administration announced initiatives today designed to improve U.S. energy security by reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The Department of Defense (DOD) made one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history - it set a goal of deploying 3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2025, enough to power 750,000 homes.
The Army, Navy and Air Force will each install 1 GW, including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal. The Navy previously committed to 1 GW by 2020, and the Air Force committed to 1 GW by 2016.
Overall, DOD has a target of sourcing 25% of its energy from renewables by 2025. Last month, it released its Operational Energy Strategy Implementation Plan, which will "transform the way" it uses energy.
This week, the Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab (GSPEL)opened - a 30,000-square-foot lab in Michigan that will develop alternative fuels and advanced batteries for combat vehicles. It will test and demonstrate fuel cells, hybrid systems, battery technologies and others, which likely will have applications in passenger and commercial vehicles.
In 2013, an "Army Green Warrior Convoy" will road-test those vehicles, stopping at schools, colleges, communities and military facilities to display them to the the military and public.
"Renewable energy is critical to making our bases more energy-secure," said the White House in a statement. "Together with emerging microgrid and storage technologies, reliable, local sources of renewable power will increase the energy security of our nation's military installations. By doing so, the DOD is better able to carry out its mission to defend the nation."
In tandem, the Dept of Energy (DOE) launched a $30 million research competition through its Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to improve energy storage technology.
ARPA-E's "Advanced Management and Protection of Energy-storage Devices" (AMPED) program will develop next-generation energy storage sensing and control technologies, which have the potential to:
- Increase fuel efficiency of military generators to reduce the need for fuel-convoys on the battlefield;
- Improve reliability of military aircraft generators, reducing operation and maintenance costs;
- Enable efficient operations for Navy ships;
- Create a new generation of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles;
- Enhance the efficiency and reliability of the U.S. electricity grid.
11 companies that received seed funding from ARPA-E have attracted $100 million in private capital investment.
Read the details of DOD's clean energy implementation plan: