Senior Officials to Highlight Commitment to Energy Security for America’s Warfighters
Today, the Obama Administration is announcing new steps to bolster energy security for America’s warfighters – underscoring the significant and inherent connection between energy independence and national security. In Michigan, the Army will open a new 30,000-square-foot lab to develop cutting edge energy technologies for the next generation of combat vehicles. This new lab will support the launch of the Army Green Warrior Convoy, which will test and demonstrate advanced vehicle technology including fuel cells, hybrid systems, battery technologies and alternative fuels.
In addition, today, the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency will launch a research competition to engage our country’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in improving the capability of energy storage devices that can be used in the battlefield and for civilian applications. And, building on President Obama’s State of the Union commitment, the Department of Defense (DoD) will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, with a new goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal – on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes.
These new steps build on President Obama’s unwavering commitment to energy security for America’s warfighters, and to a sustained, comprehensive strategy to ensure a secure energy future for all Americans. Since the President took office, domestic oil and gas production has increased each year. At the same time, our reliance on foreign oil has decreased – a trend expected to continue thanks in part to the historic fuel economy standards established by President Obama, effectively doubling the efficiency of the cars we drive and saving consumers thousands at the pump. In 2011, U.S. crude oil production reached its highest level since 2003, increasing by an estimated 120,000 barrels per day over 2010 levels. Overall, oil imports have been falling since 2005, and net imports as a share of total consumption declined from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 – the lowest level since 1995.
Army Opens a New Lab to Develop the Next Generation of Combat Vehicles
On April 11, the Army will open a new lab at Detroit Arsenal that will develop cutting edge energy technologies for the next generation of combat vehicles. Through a partnership with academia and industry, these advances may also hold promise for passenger and commercial vehicles. Shared access of this facility with industry and academia will facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to develop emerging energy technologies. Developing advanced technologies for tactical and non-tactical ground vehicles that support our military forces at home and abroad will make our forces more combat effective while helping save American families dollars at the pump.
The Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab (GSPEL)’s 8 state-of-the-art labs offer an unprecedented range of test and validation capabilities for emerging power, energy and mobility technologies at a single facility. The Army’s best and brightest ground vehicle research scientists, engineers and technicians combined with GSPEL’s unique facilities, will enable the Army to innovate tomorrow’s energy solutions.
Army to Road-Test Advanced Energy Technologies in Green Warrior Convoy
As part of required road-tests of advanced energy technologies and systems developed at the GSPEL, the Army will announce its plans to launch a Green Warrior Convoy of vehicles in 2013. The convoy will test and demonstrate the Army's advanced vehicle power and technology including fuel cells, hybrid systems, battery technologies and alternative fuels. These technologies will extend range and endurance of combat forces – helping them to defend the nation better. This convoy will stop at schools, colleges, communities and military facilities along the way to show members of the military and public the importance of energy improvements.
Defense Department Increases Commitment to Renewable Energy to 3 Gigawatts
DoD is making one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, by developing a goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal – on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes. This effort furthers the commitment President Obama made during the State of the Union to develop 1 gigawatt of renewable energy on Navy installations by 2020. The Air Force goal of obtaining 1 gigawatt by 2016 and the Army goal of obtaining 1 gigawatt by 2025 support the broader DoD goal to meet 25 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy by 2025.
Renewable energy is critical to making our bases more energy secure. Together with emerging microgrid and storage technologies, reliable, local sources of renewable power will increase the energy security of our nation’s military installations. By doing so, the DoD is better able to carry out its mission to defend the nation. To meet these goals at no additional cost to the taxpayer, DoD will leverage private sector financing through authorities such as Power Purchase Agreements, Enhanced Use Leasing, Utility Energy Savings Contracts, and Energy Savings Performance Contracts.
Energy Department Launches Competition to Make Energy Storage More Effective and Safe Through its Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), the Department of Energy is funding a $30 million research competition that will engage our country’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in improving the capability of energy storage devices, including batteries. ARPA-E’s new “Advanced Management and Protection of Energy-storage Devices” (AMPED) program will promote the development of next-generation energy storage sensing and control technologies, including enhancing the performance of hybrid energy storage modules being developed by the DoD for war-fighting equipment. Specifically, AMPED technologies have the potential to:
•Increase the fuel efficiency of military generators to help reduce the need for fuel-convoys on the battlefield;
•Improve the reliability of military aircraft generators to help to reduce operation and maintenance costs;
•Enable next generation high power weapons systems and fuel efficient operations for Navy ships;
•Create a new generation of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles; and
•Enhance the efficiency and reliability of the U.S. electricity grid.
To date, ARPA-E has hosted four rounds of competitions and attracted over 5,000 applications from research teams, resulting in approximately 180 cutting edge projects.
Administration Announces Progress on Advanced Biofuels Initiative
High global oil prices affect every part of our economy – from middle class families, to small businesses, to the Department of Defense. DoD estimates that for every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, we incur an additional $130 million in fuel costs. That is why, as part of his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, President Obama challenged the Departments of Navy, Energy and Agriculture to partner with private industry to accelerate the commercialization of drop-in biofuels for military and commercial use. The three departments developed a plan to spur private industry and financiers to construct or retrofit multiple integrated biorefineries capable of producing millions of gallons of fuel annually from domestic feedstocks and at a competitive price. On March 29, the Department of Defense’s Defense Production Act Executive Agent published advanced notice of a broad area announcement (BAA) soliciting proposals for the advanced drop-in biofuel production project. The project’s goal is to establish commercial-scale biorefineries in different regions of the U.S. producing jet and naval biofuels from diverse feedstocks via different processes. A Biofuel Industry Roundtable will be held on May 18 in Washington D.C. and will bring together the market and industry expertise necessary to develop a domestic biofuel market capable of producing alternative fuel that is cost-competitive with traditional fuel.