Thanks, in part, to the U.S. Army's recently launched Energy Initiatives Task Force – which will assess renewable energy projects, vet potential suppliers and develop new technologies to support renewable energy – annual spending on renewable energy by the Department of Defense (DOD) will reach $10 billion by 2030, says a new report from Pike Research.
While a significant portion of this investment will be spent on facilities operations, including permanent bases, the majority of the spending will be for mobility applications, including portable soldier power, as well as land, air and sea vehicles.
Pike Research estimates that the DOD currently spends approximately $20 billion per year on energy – 75% for fuel and 25% for facilities and infrastructure. Among the key sectors that will receive significant Pentagon attention and investment over the next two decades are solar power for both permanent bases and temporary facilities; fuel cells for individual soldier power; microgrids for military facilities; and biofuels for military vehicles, particularly the U.S. Navy's "Great Green Fleet" initiative to shift to a largely biofuels-driven fleet by 2016.
The total market for renewable energy for mobile power for forward bases and temporary installations is forecast to reach $6.1 billion by 2030.
"The DOD is positioned to become the single most important driver of the cleantech revolution in the United States," says Pike Research President Clint Wheelock. "In particular, military investment in renewable energy and related technologies can help bridge the "valley of death' that lies between research and development and full commercialization of these technologies."