The US Energy Information Administration reported (for
the first time) on February 5, 2015 that the US Defense
Department (DoD) energy use fell to 0.75 quadrillion British thermal units
(Btu) in fiscal year (FY) 2013, the lowest recorded level since at least FY
1975. In fact in FY 2014 it fell further, to 0.73 QBtu. Energy costs, however,
increased from 11 billion USD ((in Adjusted Constant FY 2014 Dollars) to almost
19 billion USD over the same period. The reason? Oil prices!
Energy usage within DoD is divided
into two areas: installation energy and operational energy. Installation energy
is the energy required to run and operate military installations, which is
mainly energy used in buildings but also energy used by vehicles not on combat
missions. Operational energy is the energy required for transporting, training,
and sustaining personnel and weapons specifically for military operations.
Between 1975 and 2001, Operational energy
accounted for (in general) 70% of total
DoD energy use. After 2001, its share exceeded 70%. The reason? Global War on Terror,
as once called. The US war machines run oil. This is why the share of
operational energy costs in total DoD energy costs also increased
substantially, due to both the amount of oil consumed and the increase in oil
Operational energy costs have
declined in the past couple of years thanks to declining oil consumption and
particularly falling oil prices in 2014. Despite that the DoD consumed AT LEAST
95 million barrels of oil (about 260,000 barrels per day) in 2014 at a cost of
15 billion dollars. Yes, AT LEAST, because I do not believe that oil consumed by
the US military overseas is properly counted. I am ready to challenge any one,
including the DoD officials, on this issue.
The DoD's Annual Energy Management Report (latest one is for FY2013) estimates energy consumption
across almost 300,000 buildings worldwide from more than 500 installations.
Overall, the U.S. Army uses the largest portion of installation energy (34%),
while the US Air Force uses the largest portion of operational energy (53%), mostly
DLA Fact book for 2014 shows that
the ranking of operational energy use (virtually all is oil) among DoD services
has not changed much in 2014: Air Force (53%), Navy and Marines (30%), Army (16%),
and other defense services (1%).