Saturday, July 01, 2006

Department of Defense Energy Policy

This is the first part of a series of articles on Pentagon and Energy.

I will post articles on the following subjects soon (how soon don't know):
  • DoD Energy Strategy
  • Army Energy Policy
  • Navy Energy Policy
  • Air Force Energy Policy
  • Pentagon and Peak Oil

Department of Defense Energy Policy

A Pentagon report back in 2001 summarized the role of energy in DoD bluntly: “if recent decades are a guide for the future, America’s military forces will be called upon again when the world fuel supply is threatened or interrupted. Ten years after the Cold War, over 70 percent of the tonnage required to position today’s U.S. Army into battle is fuel. Naval forces depend each day on millions of gallons of fuel to operate around the globe. The Air Force is the largest DoD consumer, and spends approximately 85 percent of its fuel budget to deliver, by airborne tankers, just 6 percent of its annual jet fuel usage. Considering this large and costly fuel usage, it would seem logical for the DoD to instinctively strive for continuous improvement in the fuel efficiency of all its platforms and forces. Similarly, a high and visible DoD priority would be to improve fuel efficiency to enhance platform performance, reduce the size of the fuel logistics system, reduce the burden high fuel consumption places on agility, reduce operating costs, and dampen the budget impact from volatile oil prices.

The DoD is the single largest energy user in USA (even though it is 1% of total US energy use and 78% of federal energy use).

It uses 97% of all US Government liquid fuel consumed. In FY2005, DoD consumed about 5.17 billion gallons of mobility fuel at a cost of $8 billion.

The distribution of energy use among the branches: Air Force 53%, Navy 32%, Army 12%, the rest 3%.

Distribution of fuel use by mode: Aviation fuel 89% (mobility 49%, fighter 25%, bomber 7%, trainer 3%, other 5%), ground fuel 3%, facility electricity 3%, other 5%.


Due to this immense energy consumption, an instruction by Assistance Secretary of Defense on December 2, 1985 had established the DoD Energy Policy Council (DEPC) to provide for coordinated review of DoD energy policies, issues, systems, and programs. But it did not achieve anything visible. Things accelerated with the new energy policy act.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 promotes “dependable, affordable, and environmentally sound production and distribution of energy for America's future.” It also includes DoD’s utility privatization program, which is a public-private competitive process to save DoD unnecessary costs and to provide better services.

The DoD has an energy management program, which aims at achieving the goals of the Energy Policy Act 2005 (ppt from DoD point of view) and Executive Order (EO) 13123 Greening the Government Through Efficient Energy Management.

Specifically, the purpose of energy management is “to minimize energy and water consumption and costs, while meeting all operational mission requirements and providing quality working and living conditions for DoD personnel and family housing occupants.”

DoD Annual Energy Management Report for FY2005 (check for availability for FY2006) gives details about the program as well as achievements done. The report itself, as well as its Data Report annex is kind of a puzzle, at least to me, full of all kinds of unnecessary information with no complete picture.

The DoD's energy consumption goals are to reduce the energy used in administrative and similar buildings by at least 30% by 2005 (compared to 1985) measured in BTUs per gross square foot; to improve industrial energy efficiency by 20% between FY90 and FY2005, and to implement all energy and water conservation projects that are life cycle cost effective (payback of 10 years or less).


(Figure: Energy reduction targets and realizations, Source)

Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment website has more or less all the information concerning energy and its management. Look at a summary presentation and Energy strategy memo for brief descriptions.

There is even a DoD Energy Managers Handbook which is designed to help DoD energy managers understand the scope and magnitude of their job and know how to find the information and resources needed to help do that job effectively. But I think the problem is information overload, not where to find information.

Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment website has more or less all the information concerning energy and its management. Look at a summary presentation and Energy strategy memo for brief descriptions.

There is even a DoD Energy Managers Handbook which is designed to help DoD energy managers understand the scope and magnitude of their job and know how to find the information and resources needed to help do that job effectively. But I think the problem is information overload, not where to find information.

Why in all those paper works too much space is given to the facility energy consumption is beyond my understanding. More than two thirds of energy is consumed for mobility but it has not even 10% space in the reports. Instead, renewables get the widest coverage. Given the increasing popularity and celebrity of renewables this attitude is understandable but it is oil that is the main fuel used and will be used in the foreseeable future, even after the peak.

Pentagon and Renewables

DoD Renewable Energy Assessment Report (of 14 march 2005, update in March 2006) states that “where economical, DoD should pursue on-installation and, in certain cases, regional grid-level production of renewable energy because it provides energy savings, reduces our dependence on foreign energy, and saves money, while increasing energy security.”

In 2005, renewable energy (8.3 trillion Btu of renewable energy from self generation and through purchases) accounted 8.3% of all facility electricity consumption of DoD. The aim is to increase it to 25% by FY2025. However, renewable energy is still a very small part of the total DoD energy consumption.

It should be here reminded that Defense Energy Support Center is the single largest purchaser of biodiesel (composed of 20% vegetable oil and 80% diesel fuel) in the US. The center also supplies E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, to the armed forces. DESC also coordinates with the military to obtain nonpetroleum-based energy-producing technologies such as solar and wind power. (see, source)

Alternative Fuels Information Station of the Defense Energy Support Center is one of the best places to have clear tutorials on biodiesel, fuel ethanol, synthetic fuels. (A must visit). Moreover, Alternate Fuels Information for Non-Tactical Vehicles, Guidebook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing Ethanol Fuel (an exceptionally good publication on ethanol), Ethanol Safety Information Paper published by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and Guidebook for Handling, Storing and Dispensing Ethanol Fuel are worth to read.

Beginning June 1, 2005 all U.S. Navy and Marine non-tactical diesel vehicles are required to operate on a B20 (20 percent) biodiesel blend as part of the military's efforts to increase their use of domestic and clean fuels. The policy does not apply to tactical military equipment or deployable commercial equipment intended to support contingency operations. The U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines all use B20 at different bases and stations throughout the country. But the Navy is the largest user of diesel fuel in the world.

According to me the DoD makes a lot of work on renewables, even too much, that is very suspicious. It is not because Pentagon loves "green" and therefore wants to go "green" but because Pentagon knows what is approaching and what it will have to face.

stay tuned....




0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home