The Army is following the Air Force’s green efforts to cut their energy expenditures and, presumably, don’t see their weapons budget cut. They will install solar panels and windmills, while investing in bio-fuels and energy conservation in bases all around the country. According to Keith Eastin, assistant Army secretary for Installations and Environmen, this will be good not only for the military, but for all of us:
The Army plans to increase efficiency and serve as a model for the military and the nation when it comes to the operation of our housing, buildings, and forward operating bases. The Army will use its considerable purchasing power to push green projects that might not otherwise receive needed money.
One of these projects is the installation of a 500 megawatt solar thermal plant in Ft. Irwin, an Army base located in the Mojave Desert. Another, the purchase of 4,000 Small Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles similar to the Peapod, which will always beat the SUVs currently in use at these bases.
The effort will have to be really serious, as their energy costs have increased a full 40% during the last seven years, even while they have cut consumption by almost 8%. According to their latest numbers released this week in Washington, D.C., right now they are spending $US2 billion on fuel every year. However, most of it goes to feeding the generators that power the temporary bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, so no matter how much money they spend on saving energy at home, they still will have to feed the monster around the world. [DODBuzz]