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When it Comes to Alt Energy, the US Military Doesn’t Care About Opinion Polls

Jeff Siegel | Thursday October 14th, 2010 | 2 Comments

It was all over the news last week…

With recycled — yet catchy — titles like “The Military is Going Green” and “For the U.S. Military, it’s Easy Being Green,” the world learned that the military’s dependence on fossil fuels has become a strategic nightmare.

Of course, for those who are regular readers of these pages, this is hardly “news.”

And certainly I’ve been reporting on this very issue since first launching Green Chip Stocks back in 2005.

I can even remember speaking at an investment conference in 2006; my topic was the military’s reliance on fossil fuels.

I have to admit that back then, it wasn’t easy convincing folks that transitioning away from fossil fuels (where possible) was paramount if we wanted to prepare for a post-peak world.

But when I started quoting Pentagon reports and former Reagan White House advisors, the mood changed…

Now I realize that there are still those who don’t believe alternative energy will soon be integrated on a much larger scale than it is today. And investors can ignore this reality at their own peril.

But one thing is certain: While it may take a few more years to see more solar shining in your neighborhood, the military’s going full force on alternative energy today.

The military has adopted alternative energy

From portable solar panels to energy-conserving lights, the U.S. military is fast-tracking the transition from fossil fuels to systems that lessen the military’s vulnerability on the battle field.

As reported last week in the New York Times:

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the huge truck convoys that haul fuel to bases have been sitting ducks for enemy fighters — in the latest attack, oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan were set on fire in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, early Monday. In Iraq and Afghanistan, on Army study found, for every 24 fuel convoys that set out, one soldier or civilian engaged in fuel transport was killed. In the past three months, six Marines have been wounded guarding fuel runs in Afghanistan.

This is serious stuff, folks.

And fortunately, military leaders don’t have to entertain special interest-funded debates about the merits and urgency of alternative energy integration — you know, like we’re doing now in D.C. (well, in between fundraising events and mud-slinging)…

Yes, the military has already ordered the adoption of alternative energy. And the benefits of this move will not be trivialized.

We know that the U.S. Navy now has hybrid ships, and has integrated super-efficient LED lighting on some of its vessels.

Back in January, the Secretary of the Navy announced the Navy and Marine Corps would cut petroleum use in its 50,000 non-tactical commercial fleet in half by phasing in hybrid, flex fuel, and electric vehicles.

The Army is using rucksacks enhanced with portable solar power systems.

Earlier this year, we learned that BAE Systems (PK: BAESY) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) are developing an Army Ground Combat Vehicle that uses hybrid-electric drive technology.

Also earlier this year, the U.S. Army took delivery of a mobile trailer-mounted wind turbine and storage unit developed by a company called WindTamer Corporation (OTCBB: WNDT).

That system is currently being used as a demonstration unit for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. This is the Army’s largest technology developer and its primary source for research and development.

Next year, we know that the entire Air Force fleet will be certified to fly on biofuels. It was only about six months ago that the Air Force announced its first feasibility flight demonstration using a hydrocarbon synthetic jet fuel created from animal fats and plant oils.

Yes, my friends… This is happening right now.

No debates.

No second-guessing.

And no media blowhards using scare tactics to keep the couch potato zombies believing a transition to alternative energy is some kind of socialist plot designed to cripple the U.S. economy.

Whether you think alternative energy is the real deal or not, one thing is certain…

The military doesn’t care about public opinion polls. It cares about results.

And that’s the difference between complacency and progress.


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  • http://bit.ly/neeblog Daniela

    This is great news. It’s amazing to me how many people still think renewables are somehow second-class to oil. Americans should support the troops with their own energy decisions.

  • Brandon

    And yet the military is still the worlds largest user of gasoline.