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The U.S. Armed Forces – Clean Energy Innovators

September 23, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is leading the way for advancements in efficiency, sustainability and clean energy sources, according to a new report by the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate.

Indiana University associate professor of law Eric Dannenmaier is impressed by the DOD's efforts to create energy sources that will reduce the need for fuel convoys. Such convoys put troops at risk for attack.

"It's a life-saver, it's a cost-saver and, you know, it's something that can help drive technological development and improvement. So, it's likely to have positive collateral effects on the private sector."

Dannenmaier says the DOD is leading by demonstration.

"If the Department of Defense can do this, you know, a department that has job one - putting troops in the field, protecting the homeland and keeping those troops as safe as possible while they are doing their job - if the D-O-D can do this, then Indiana's Department of Energy can do this."

Pew Project director Phyllis Cuttino says the Department of Defense manages three times the building square footage operated by Walmart. She says DOD has reduced its facility energy consumption by more than 30 percent.

"Operational improvements the DOD has made alone to enhance energy efficiency will save the department $500 million this year alone."

The report says micro-grids are being developed to provide electricity at domestic military installations for situations when commercial power is out, 99 percent of the Air Force fleet has been certified to fly on a biofuels blend, and the DOD is working closely with the private sector on clean energy development.

The report is available at www.pewtrusts.org

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN