By Kari Williamson

The two organisations will hold a forum series throughout 2012 in collaboration with the DoD to help increase US military effectiveness through renewable energy solutions. Key areas of focus identified by the DoD include technological and financial opportunities and challenges related to the expanded use of renewable energy in support of national defence.

“America’s continued reliance on foreign oil resources presents a serious and urgent threat to our national and economic security. The US military, used to planning strategic campaigns to manage risk, has taken a leading role in deploying renewable energy as threat mitigation,” says Vice Admiral (Ret.) Dennis McGinn, President of ACORE.

“Let’s learn from their example and find ways for the renewable energy industry to work with the military to create an energy future that will ensure and enhance America’s national security and prosperity.”

The DoD is the largest industrial consumer of oil in the world, using 125 million barrels of oil in 2010, which was more than that consumed by 82% of the world’s countries individually in 2010, ACORE says.

Safer for personnel

The use of renewable energy in combat operations can reduce the need for hazardous fuel convoys, which were associated with 12% of Army casualties in Iraq and 35% of Army casualties in Afghanistan in 2007.

Renewable energy and efficiency improvements can also cut energy costs on military bases and other permanent installations.

The Department of Defense has pledged to draw 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, and recently committed as part of President Obama’s January 2012 State of the Union address that the Navy will purchase enough clean energy capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.