Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Military Bases for Green Energy

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One of the interesting statements in the President's State of the Union Address was his commitment to build extensive clean energy facilities on public lands--enough to power 3 million homes.  I think that this is a terrific idea.  The US Government owns extensive areas of land in the United States with low intensity land uses.  Military bases, with their many acres of unused land, would be great sites for the development of this plan.  There are a number of bases that are not used all that intensively that have large swaths of land suitable for the development of wind, solar, or other green energy sources.  Many have old areas of development that occurred in the 1940's to accommodate the troop build-up during World War II.  Thus, little environmental damage would be done if these areas were to be used.

What many do not realize is that the US Military has been a leader in green energy and sustainability.  They have instituted a Net Zero plan across bases and across services.  Take a look at this document from Fort Bliss.  It demonstrates that the Military understands the issues associated with sustainability and thus intensive green energy installations would find a culture that understands the significance of energy independence, particularly given the conflicts of the last 20 years.

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