Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Fight - Less Fuel

When Undersecretary of Defense Kenneth Krieg asked Defense Science Board (Memorandum, 2 May 2006) to form a Task Force on DoD energy strategy he specifically used two words very often – identify and assess.

The DSB released its report called DoD Energy Strategy: "More Fight - Less Fuel" on February 12, 2008. The title of Section 2.2.2 is Peak Oil. Not surprising, because James Schlesinger was the co-chairman of the DoD Task Force.

Section 2.2.2 on peak oil (pages 13-14) briefly describes the Hubbert theory, and the various government reports on peak oil (Hirsch, National Petroleum Council and GAO).

It is unfortunate that the report (135 pages) lacks direct and precise answers to what it was asked to deliver. If you hope to find some data on US military energy consumption then this report is probably not the one to look for. It does not give the evolution of energy use by fuel, by DoD service, by platform, by type, by location, by cost, by emissions? It is not enough to blame the insufficiency of energy demand data. Have they looked at the Federal Energy Management Reports of each DoD service? No! (unless it is given in the Classified Appendix G). If you don’t know where, why, what is used and if you don’t calculate the future path by taking into account of current and future inventory then you end up repeating what the 2001 DSB report “More Capable Warfighting Through Reduced Fuel Burden” had said 7 years ago.

The new DSB report resembles Colonel Gregory J. Lengyel’s report called
“Department of Defense Energy Strategy - Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks” (The Brookings Institution, August 2007). But Colonel’s report has more data and less exotic solutions.

By the way, the US National Space Society had released a report on October 10, 2007 on “Space‐Based Solar Power As an Opportunity for Strategic Security” which deals with very very long term solution which may sound (at least to me) like science fiction today. It is highly recommended technology choice by the new DSB report.

Anyway, the DoD has just posted the Federal Energy Management Report for FY 2007. Finally they included the non-tactical vehicles (or fleet vehicle, ie, ambulances passenger cars, busses etc) energy consumption data. Note that the cost data for non-tactical vehicles are NOT in thausend $!

Here is the summary



Site delivered oil consumption has increased to 331.7 thousend barrels per day in 2007 compared to 319.5kbd in 2006.

Question: As reported in FEMR report DoD fuel consumption in FY2007 increased. International fuel prices in 2007 have also increased.As far as I know DESC standard prices have also increased last year. BUT then how come the DoD's total fuel cost in 2007 has decreased! Well, that's the result you get when you compare it with FY2006 data, which I posted sometime last year. (reposted below)



In that chart Fuel cost for non-tactical vehicles should have been $238.7 million (not $843.7 million). The sum is correct though. My apologies.

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