“The roots of war are in the way we live our daily lives – the way we develop our industries, build up our society, and consume goods. We have to look deeply into the situation, and we will see the roots of war. We cannot just blame one side or the other. We have to transcend the tendency to take sides.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, “Peace Is Every Step,” Bantam Books, 1991
THE RENEWABLE WAR MACHINE
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March 30, 2006 1700 PST (FTW) - In the face of Peak Oil, the military is preparing for energy insecurity and blackouts at their domestic installations by insulating themselves with renewable energy sources both on- and off-base.
The following report consists of information compiled from government, public relations, and mainstream news reports with links to the original sources showing specific examples of the military’s growing utilization of renewable energy. Italicized sections are FTW comments.
The semi-secret underground command center at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado—where NORAD, NORTHCOM and USSPACECOM headquarters are located—has six 1.75 MW diesel generators for backup power operating on regular diesel fuel. However, it is believed that renewable energy sources may be better than non-renewables for emergency backup reserves in addition to supplementing day-to-day consumption.
Led by the Air Force, the military has documented all renewable energy projects within 100 miles of their installations. The CIA has recently announced it will be moving its domestic division to Denver. Colorado is certain to see many “steel in the ground” renewable projects in the near term, especially within 100 miles of Cheyenne Mountain and Denver.
Renewable Energy Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is less than 70 miles from Denver.
Fort Myers is 80 miles from Denver. Ethanol/diesel blends are being tested at military bases and biodiesel is also a suitable supplemental fuel for diesel engines and generators.
Colorado Testing Wind Potential in San Isabel
San Isabel is 92 miles from Cheyenne Mountain. Tests have shown the area to be a class-5 wind resource, making it an outstanding location to install turbines.
Biomass Energy Grant Awarded to Colorado
CIA Invests in No-Fuel Power Generators
RENEWABLE WAR MACHINE
The Department of Defense (DoD) created a Renewable Energy Assessment Team to explore solar, wind and geothermal energy resources at military installations.
Led by the U.S. Air Force, the team conducted on-site assessments at military bases in the Continental United States. The completed reports summarize the wind, solar, and geothermal resources identified at installations and surrounding regions (within ~100 miles).
Additionally, the team made recommendations on how to economically purchase renewable energy and encourage the growth of on-site energy development at select military bases. They have reviewed established and new technologies for collecting, storing, and transmitting renewable power.
Finally, the team defined the benefits and drawbacks of developing renewable resources, including reports on the efficiency, reliability, and vulnerability of the installation's energy systems and regional cost/reliability impacts.
It was found that renewables have the potential to provide added energy security when the source of generation is on the installation. Renewables in close proximity and which can be dedicated to the installation, especially when teamed with existing diesel power sources, can also contribute to energy security, although electric lines transmitting this power to the installation could be at risk. In some cases, where energy security needs are high, it could be more cost-effective to pay a slightly higher cost for renewable energy than to acquire more conventional alternatives. [emphasis added]
(The DoD will) encourage installations to evaluate renewable energy alternatives as part of contingency planning for grid outages. Planning should be done regionally, include regional utilities and suppliers, and consider the use of the installation’s renewable energy capacity as part of a local islanding strategy. [emphasis added]
Army policy is to purchase Green Power—electricity generated from renewable energy sources when it is available. The Army continues to emphasize the use of passive solar designs, such as building orientation and window placement and sizing, in a variety of building types and new-facility construction. The Army anticipates more growth in the implementation of renewable energy and active solar technologies due to the recently implemented Sustainable Design and Development guidance.
The Army has entered into a contract with Washington Gas Energy Services to purchase 5 million kWh of wind power and 14 million kWh of landfill gas annually through December 2004. This purchase makes the Army a leader in the purchase of renewable power and assists the Army in achieving the goals of EO 13123 (.pdf, 80Kb). The wind farm (located in West Virginia) will deliver 5 million kWh of renewable power annually to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Adelphi Labs, and Fort McNair. The Army will receive environmental credits for this purchase.
National Security to Lead Renewable Energy Deployment
In December of 2004, military and intelligence professionals endorsed renewable energy for “national security” at a conference in Washington D.C. sponsored by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE). At this conference, former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey said that a main component of the “war on terror” is oil. This supports what FTW has always known to be true: the so-called “war on terror” is essentially a cover for resource wars.
When FTW first caught wind of this report, we published the following:
[Former US officials in the planning elites at defense and intelligence-related corporations are coming out in favor of renewable energy with fresh zeal. At a December conference of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), gradualist rhetoric yielded to crash-program urgency: "The conference was convened primarily to acknowledge that the past three decades of research and development in the U.S. have yielded positive results and that it's time to move into a new phase - a broad and deliberate deployment phase."
In other words, the energy problem is so critical at this moment that we must start using what we've got now, whether it's perfected or not: whether it is sustainable or not. If we don't, then we lose everything anyway. At least this will start buying us a little time.
After the debacle of Centcom's 2004 experience, the military is interested too -- not because energy independence will make it less necessary to kill and die, but because the war machine will be more flexible and enduring if they can run it on biodiesel.
We now have a growing list of elites who are personally moving to renewables and alt energy sources. This confirms Peak Oil in a whole new dimension: the people who have the power to respond to it on their own behalf are doing so, rapidly and with a dark new seriousness. – FTW]
Boeing and SAIC have been working in partnership with Stirling Energy Systems (SES) on Advanced Dish Development Systems (ADDS), referred to as concentrating solar power or solar thermal. This project has been developed at Sandia National Laboratories, which is run by Lockheed Martin. According to Stirling’s FAQ page, the ADDS technology is 20 years old, yet these systems are just now being brought to market for the first time.
The first commercial project to be installed of this kind will be 70 miles north of Los Angeles in the desert where an array of 20,000 dishes, over 4 square miles, will have the capacity to produce 500 MW of energy at peak output. This is not PV (photovoltaic) technology; it is entirely different. Solar thermal has the capacity to generate much more energy than PV at a lower cost. One has to wonder why this technology has been held back for two decades.
Department of Defense Funds $53 M Solar Program
The DARPA program calls upon the consortium (of solar producers) to develop and produce 1,000 Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) prototypes that are affordable and that operate at efficiencies of at least 50%
Wind Turbines Operational At Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Ethanol Diesel Blend to be Tested at Military Bases
National Guard Training Center Goes Solar
Cheyenne, Wyoming– Air Force Base Constructs Wind Turbines
The Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming is constructing two 900 kW wind turbines to supplement the base's power needs.
U.S. Army to Develop Wind Energy at Fort Bliss, Tx.
Konarka is developing portable, electric-generating buildings for the military.
Iowa Thin Film Technologies develops flexible solar panels that can be made into army tents, sleeping bags and clothing.
Jean Hampel, project engineer in the Fabric Structures Group at the Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center (http://www.natick.army.mil), said the need to reduce the Army's logistics footprint spurred interest in developing lightweight solar panels. "We want to cut back on the things that soldiers have to bring with them," including generators and personal battery packs, Hampel said. In modern warfare, portable power for communications technology is every bit as important as firepower and manpower.
Lightweight Solar Cells for Space and Defense
United Solar Ovonic announced that the Air Force Research Laboratory (Kirtland AFB, NM) has awarded the company a $6.7 million, 18-month contract to continue development of its ultra-lightweight, high-efficiency solar cell technology for use in space and airship vehicles addressing defense and homeland security applications.
Solar-powered Underwater Robots Unveiled
The underwater vehicles have captured the attention of the U.S. Navy, which will evaluate their use for coastal surveillance applications.
AES Increases Wind Assets
AES (Applied Energy Services) Corporation of Arlington, Virginia, owns 2,750 megawatts of wind generating capacity. They are a major energy support mechanism for the military. Many individuals on the AES board of directors have strong ties to the Pentagon.
AES Corporation Acquires SeaWest Holdings, Inc.
Through the acquisition of SeaWest, AES has become one of the leading developers and operators of wind farms in the U.S.
Army Calls Upon Army Corp of Engineers to Implement Sustainable Energy Development
*Cape Wind Under Federal Control: The Cape Cod wind project is not under the control of the state of Massachusetts. Since it is located offshore, in federal waters, the project falls under the control of the Army Corp. of Engineers, who have just released a massive report on Peak Oil. Cape Wind (if completed) will be America’s first offshore wind farm with a capacity to produce 420 MW of energy at peak output.
U.S. Air Force Locks In to Renewable Energy
The U.S. Air Force is the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the nation.
Energy and Security Group
A small, woman-owned professional services company serving US military, other government, industry and international development agency clients in the US and overseas.
We focus on expanding the use of clean energy and environmental technologies and practices to enhance economic performance, promote energy security, improve quality of life, and advance resource sustainability.
The U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division (Light), Hawaii has received national recognition for initiating two major energy efficiency projects, including the largest individual solar water-heating project ever undertaken in the nation.