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New Task Force to Promote Energy Initiatives

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2011 – A new task force to stand up by mid-September will take the Army’s energy initiatives to the next level with a goal of getting 25 percent of the Army’s power from renewable sources by 2025, Army Secretary John M. McHugh announced yesterday.

The Energy Initiatives Task Force for Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects will build on efforts already under way at Army installations worldwide, McHugh said at theGovEnergy Conference in Cincinnati.

The Army already has 126 renewable projects, he noted, including a major solar project at Fort Irwin, Calif., that, once completed, will stretch across an area the size of Manhattan in New York.

“We think we’ve made a great start,” he said, citing initiatives that include microgrids, solar and natural gas. “But to meet our longer-term objectives,” he added, “we have to do better.”

The new task force will seek new ways to partner with the private sector on a variety of large-scale renewable energy and alternative energy programs within the continental United States. McHugh estimated that meeting the 2025 objective will require about $7.1 billion in private investment.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, said the task force will help advance energy concepts that make financial sense for everyone: the private sector, the Army and the American taxpayer.

This is “the right thing to do for the environment --certainly in this age of diminishing resources --the right thing to do for federal taxpayers, and most importantly, the right thing to do for our soldiers,” McHugh said.

Energy-saving initiatives the task force promotes will complement others taking place across the Defense Department, McHugh said.

DOD uses about 80 percent of the federal government’s energy, with the Army consuming about 21 percent of that total.

“So we view ourselves as a target-rich environment in terms of trying to do a better job with taxpayer dollars, trying to do a better job in our stewardship of the environment,” he said.

Most importantly, McHugh said, the Army’s energy initiatives will affect force protection in Iraq and Afghanistan. Less reliance on renewable fuels at combat outposts and forward operating bases, as well as fewer convoys, not only saves energy, he said, but also reduces enemy exposure for soldiers who support those energy requirements.

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Biographies:
John M.McHugh

Related Sites:
Special Report: DOD Releases Operational Energy Strategy
Special Report: DOD Goes Green



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8/15/2011 3:06:18 PM
The cost of solar electricity is $0.2025 kWh or $202 mWh So to produce the energy they want at current prices would be $202 mWh * 2.1 e6 = $425.25 Million. (http://www.solarbuzz.com/facts-and-figures/retail-price-environment/solar-electricity-prices) This could be done almost immediately at less than 1/16th the cost. These costs do not include advancements that have already happened like the 43.5% efficient concentrator cell by Solar Junction or the record 29.1% efficient single junction solar cell by Alta Devices.(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/PVeff%28rev110408U%29.jpg). Hopefully this program will help the US come from being 5th in solar production to being on top again. In areas with good sunlight (DNI), there can also be some big gains with some new architectures like the Rainbow concentrator by Sol Solution (www.sol-solution.net) or the low profile concentrator by Moran Solar (http://www.morgansolar.com)
- Don, California

8/11/2011 4:32:42 PM
I live in the municipality of Thisted, in the North western part of Denmark. The municipality is fairly big compared to Danish standards, I believe we are the second largest municipality in Denmark, some 5.000 square km and 46.000 people. We are more than selfreliant on wind electricity and some 80% on renewable fuels for heating. You may get some inspiration from this movie (18 minutes) http://climate.thisted.dk/da/the-thisted-video/ Sincerely Yours Flemming Toftdahl-Olesen
- Flemming Toftdahl-Olesen, Thisted, Denmark

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