Alternative energy is a matter of logistics for military

Reuters:
President Donald Trump and his top advisors have often scoffed at government support of green energy. His chief strategist called it “madness.”

But the largest U.S. government agency - the Department of Defense - plans to forge ahead under the new administration with a decade-long effort to convert its fuel-hungry operations to renewable power, senior military officials told Reuters.

The reasons have nothing to do with the white-hot debate over climate change. In combat zones, green energy saves lives by, for instance, reducing the need for easily attacked convoys to deliver diesel fuel to generators at U.S. bases. Mobile solar-power units allow soldiers to prowl silently through enemy territory.

At sea, gas-electric hybrid battleships save fuel and allow for fewer stops – making them less vulnerable to attacks like the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, when al-Qaeda militants killed 17 U.S. soldiers during a refueling stop in Yemen.

The military’s zeal for renewable power has already had broad impacts on energy contractors, generating hundreds of millions in contracts for solar companies and helping to reduce fuel consumption by the world's largest single petroleum buyer.

The armed forces nearly doubled renewable power generation between 2011 and 2015, to 10,534 billion British thermal units, or enough to power about 286,000 average U.S. homes, according to a Department of Defense report.

The number of military renewable energy projects nearly tripled to 1,390 between 2011 and 2015, department data showed, with a number of utilities and solar companies benefiting. Many of those projects are at U.S. bases, where renewable energy allows the military to maintain its own independent source of power in case of a natural disaster or an attack - or cyber attack - that disables the public grid.

The White House did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on the military’s use of green energy. Although Trump has blasted solar subsidies, vowed to boost fossil fuel development and questioned the science behind climate change, military leaders remain confident that the president won’t halt their march toward renewable power.

"We expect that it's going to continue during the Trump administration," said Lt. Col. Wayne Kinsel, head of the infrastructure unit of the Air Force Asset Management Division for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection. "It's really not political."
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Using alternative energy for remote locations does make sense and does make it more difficult for the enemy to pursue a logistic strategy.   Gas-electric battleships need tp prove their worth.  What I reject as wasteful or the attempts to make artificial fuel for ships and planes that cost a significant amount more than fossil fuel.  That is a waste of money.

The former Secretary of the Navy wasted huge sums of money on biofuel made from algae or other so-called renewables.  Those fuels were developed because of the perception that fossil fuel was becoming scarce.  That clearly is not the case.

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