What Will It Take to Power the US Military with Green Energy?

As the world's largest industrial consumer of oil in the world, the U.S. Department of Defense is striving to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel, become more energy efficient and shrink its substantial environmental bootprint in the process.

GreenBiz reports frequently on those efforts by the DOD and various branches of the military, whose work in the area has become another aspect of competition among the forces.

Just last month, the Army awarded its first cloud computing contract. The service also announced it had awarded more than $60 million in contracts for solar and wind power installations, including one that will become the largest renewable energy project for the branch thus far.

And just last week, the American Council On Renewable Energy and business group Advanced Energy Economy said that they are working the Department of Defense to explore further ways to green the military's power sources. The two organizations, in concert with the DOD, are holding a series of forums this year on increasing military effectiveness with renewable energy.

The groups have prepared a primer for advanced energy companies about the military's efforts ease dependence on fossil fuels and case studies on work with three companies that have helped the DOD advance toward its goals: Lockheed Martin, Ocean Power and SunPower.

In addition to the resources, the organizations have drawn up a chart to illustrate the magnitude of the military's energy consumption, the costs in dollars and risks to soldiers and ways to minimize them:

Top photo by Anton Hlushchenko / Shutterstock.com. Infographic courtesy of the American Council On Renewable Energy and Advanced Energy Economy.