All branches of the US military are on the pursuit for energy-conscious technologies.
“Militaries that fail to innovate lose strategic advantage. Nations that fail to innovate lose economic edge. Clean energy innovation is an essential strategy for making the United States and its service men and women safer, stronger and more successful,” wrote the authors of the Pew report.
Below are 5 examples of technologies that are employed by the U.S. military that officials hope will turn out to be both environmentally sound and strategically advantageous in the long run.
- On-Base Electric Vehicles – The military is beginning to make use of small electric cars on base. They are made from recycled plastic and can reach speeds of 25 mph. The military will be slower in rolling out “green” combat vehicles, since performance is paramount to troops’ safety.
- Solar Power Shades – Solar shade helps to cool the tent that soldiers stay in while 72 panels absorb sunlight to produce two kilowatts of power a day.
- FED – A Greener Humvee – The Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator, or FED, would have the same capabilities as the M1114 Humvee but with about 70 percent greater fuel efficiency.
- Hybrid-Electric Ships – The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island is the only Navy ship with a hybrid-electric propulsion system, but the goal is to switch more of the fleet over to “green” engines.
- Biofuel-Powered Aircraft – The Navy and Air Force have already demonstrated that they can fly fighter jets on a 50/50 mix of biofuel and standard jet fuel. The Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet flew on a blend derived from camelina seeds.