Renewable energy boosts national security, military preparedness

Jon Powers is an Iraq veteran and former Chief Sustainability Officer for the U.S. government. He’s also a founder of Operation Free, a coalition of former service members who “advocate for securing America with clean energy.”

This month, he penned a pair of op-eds explaining why the armed forces look to renewable energy to strengthen national security and boost military preparedness. Here are a few highlights:

From the Washington Examiner:

The U.S. military is leading by example in developing and employing smart new clean energy technologies at scale. If the Department of Defense were a corporation, it would be the biggest business in the United States. It manages more than 500,000 buildings with over 2.2 billion square feet. That is over three times the square footage Wal-Mart currently operates.

Energy touches every part of the military’s mission, and domestically it must ensure energy security and reliability to fulfill that mission.

For the Department of Defense, the transition (to renewable energy) is an operational imperative. That is why the Army, Navy, and Air Force are each pursuing an impressive goal to develop one gigawatt of renewable energy to power their installations by 2025 — enough to power about 700,000 U.S. homes. The Navy has already met its goal years ahead of schedule.

Building a modern energy system that makes use of our plentiful renewable resources and American ingenuity is key to our grid security and national security…

This year, the U.S. Army contracted solar and wind to power about half of Fort Hood’s operations, the largest active-duty armored post in the U.S. It did so for security reasons- to ensure that the base has access to power if the grid is attacked, for instance- and will save taxpayers millions in the process.

From Greentech Media:

A diversified energy portfolio that includes renewable generation creates a more resilient grid.

The added security provided by renewables is why everyone — from the military to Fortune 100 companies — is finding ways to use clean reliable distributed power systems to support their operations…

I first began to understand the importance of energy security while deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Life-changing experiences on the ground in Baghdad led me to a career focused in this area…

Fort Hood is just the latest example of the military’s growing interest in renewable energy. The Navy met its goal of producing 1 gigawatt of renewable energy ahead of its target…

To stress the importance of energy security, last year the Navy changed the name of its “Renewable Energy Program Office,” which is responsible for those contracts, to the Resilient Energy Program Office.

(Renewable energy is) already working for the military and the biggest corporations in the world.

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