Categories: Blog Date: Apr 11, 2012 Title: US Military Sets Goal to Cut Power Grid Dependence
By: Timothy Gardner
The renewable electricity capacity, which is the equivalent of three nuclear power stations, would be built on installations mainly in the United States, many of which have directly supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently the installations rely on the commercial power grid for electricity.
"We have concerns that if the grid were disrupted for any length of time critical missions that we carry out on our installations could be at risk," the official said.
The goal builds on President Barack Obama's announcement in the State of the Union address in January that the Navy has pledged to develop 1 gigawatt of renewable power on its installations by 2020.
The Air Force plans to develop 1 gigawatt by 2016 and the Army plans to obtain 1 gigawatt by 2025, administration officials said.
As average U.S. gasoline prices hover near $4 a gallon this election year the administration is touting an "all of the above" energy strategy to increase development of both conventional and alternative energy. As Republicans blame Obama for high fuel prices he has said there is no silver bullet to tamp down prices for oil which are set on global markets.
The Army has estimated its renewable energy goal could require $7 billion in private financing, the official said, so by extension the total financing needed could be more than $20 billion.
Private financing is "really the only economic way to do these kinds of projects on our installations because private developers can tap tax incentives that are not available to the federal government," another administration official said.
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