US military to invest $7bn in strategic investment in biofuels

The largest consumer of fuel in the US, the Pentagon, is seeking proposals as it plans an investment drive, targeting bio-fuels. reports that the US Army Energy Initiatives Task Force (AEITF) has issued a draft request for proposals (Draft RFP) for renewable energy contracts.

Driving the Pentagon’s green drive is Executive Order 13423, which mandates that the Department of Defense achieve a 30 per cent reduction in non-tactical fleet fossil fuel use by 2020, and over the next decade, an impressive $7bn has been set aside for the purpose.

A 2011 Pew Charitable Trusts report, “From Barracks to the Battlefield: Clean Energy Innovation and America’s Armed Forces” reported that Department of Defense clean energy investments increased 300 per cent between 2006 and 2009 – from $400m to $1.2bn – and are projected at $10bn annually by 2030.

A second key piece of legislation driving the Pentagon’s mandate is the Renewable Fuel Standard, which Congress enacted in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act, amending it in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

The draft AEITF RFP marks the beginning of the AEITF’s plan to develop a large, coordinated procurement process for renewables.

The AEITF’s new program was developed in response to a National Defense Authorization Act that requires Department of Defense facilities to derive at least 25 per cent of the electricity they consume from renewable energy by 2025, and a Department of Defense “Net Zero Energy” initiative, which challenges DOD installations to produce more energy than they consume, with emphasis on the use of renewable energy and alternative fuels.

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