Claim: Installing solar will combat national security risks in the power grid

From MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY and the “what happens if they bomb you at night?” department comes this freakishly stupid study that suggests we’ll have better energy security at our military installations by installing solar systems. While microgrids “can” be more reliable that individual grid tied systems, they still don’t generate power when you need it most during a grid induced power outage – at night.

Installing solar to combat national security risks in the power grid

Vulnerabilities in the power grid are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community has called for building up the resiliency of the grid using distributed energy and microgrids for stabilization. Power production from multiple sources increases the difficulty of triggering cascading blackouts, and following an attack or natural disaster, microgrids can provide localized energy security.

In a new paper published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, an interdisciplinary team of engineering and energy policy experts from Michigan Technological University says the first step is to outfit military infrastructure with solar photovoltaic (PV)-powered microgrid systems. Their results found that the military needs 17 gigawatts of PV to fortify domestic bases–the systems are technically feasible, within current contractors’ skill sets and economically favorable.

Additionally, the paper’s lead author, Emily Prehoda, who is finishing her PhD in energy policy at Michigan Tech, says boosting bases’ energy independence supports local communities.

“I come from a military-oriented family, so for me the military is important to bridge the technical capacities and policies to trickle down to other critical infrastructure and services,” Prehoda says. “This is such a huge issue, not only for the military but for other organizations, and it hits from all different sides, from the technical, economic and social–and it leads back to the idea of security.”

Independent Energy

The US military already has a renewable energy plan in place: 25 percent of energy production from renewable sources by 2025, but only 27 of the more than 400 domestic military sites either have fortified PV microgrids running now or have plans to do so, which makes the majority vulnerable to long-term power disruptions. Co-author Joshua Pearce says this is a great start but more is needed as most military backup systems rely on generators, which are also vulnerable to fuel supply disruption.

“The US military is extremely dependent on electricity now; it’s not people fighting with bayonets,” says Pearce, a dual-appointed professor of electrical and computer engineering as well as materials science and engineering. “If we put the money into PV-powered microgrids, it would be making us objectively more secure and we get a return on our investment as after the initial investment in PV the military would enjoy free solar electricity for the next 25 years.”

The main historical threats to the electrical grid come from natural disasters like tornados, hurricanes and winter storms, which cost between $18 and $33 billion every year in power outages and US infrastructure damage. The threats that keep grid security experts up at night are deliberate attacks on the grid. These can either be physical attacks–like the 2013 sniper attack on a Silicon Valley substation, which cost $100 million and lasted 27 days –or computer hacking that causes cascading disruptions like in the Ukraine blackouts in 2016. In 2012, the US Department of Defense reported about 200 cyber incidents across critical infrastructure systems and nearly half targeted the electrical grid.

During any event, energy generation and distribution unhitch like a lost caboose on a runaway train. Microgrids provide flexibility and enable generation to persist even if distribution fails, maintaining performance for critical infrastructure while decreasing the chance of cascading failures. Solar, because of its decreasing costs and geographically distributed access to long-term solar “fuel”, makes the most sense for powering microgrids.

PV-Powered Microgrids

To quantify the technical impacts of distributed energy systems, the team looked at domestic military bases and their current electric loads. Then they reviewed where the military’s existing and planned PV-powered microgrids lined up with past grid failures as well as every state’s potential for solar power.

The team found that it would take 2,140 gigawatts to supply all critical infrastructure in the US with 100 percent solar power and a hybrid microgrid system with storage provide protection against grid failure. The military alone would need 17 gigawatts. To put that in perspective, the US has installed a total capacity of 22.7 gigawatts of solar to date.

The team then looked at the technical and economic feasibility of employing the top 20 contractors already working with the US Department of Defense to install more microgrids and performed a detailed case study of three companies, Lockheed Martin, Bechtel and General Electric, to gauge the extent of the technical skills and resources available.

Given the results, the challenge to meet grid resiliency with microgrid deployment is feasible because the resources to install these systems already exist domestically.

Renewable Energy Policy

Prehoda also worked with her PhD adviser Chelsea Schelly, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan Tech, to assess policy needs. Despite the substantial national security risk, policy that addresses electrical grid failures has been minimal. Schelly explains that support for PV makes sense in terms of national security.

“There is some policy recognition that energy can be a security priority,” Schelly says, adding that while the US does not have a national renewable energy policy, the military does, and it has the capacity for implementation through existing contractors. “If we recognize that this capacity already exists, then we can start thinking about PV as a security measure by integrating microgrids–and then creating local resilience based on military technologies.”

In the paper, the team examined how securing top-priority military microgrids could trickle down into different levels of critical infrastructure. Technology designed and implemented at military bases could lead to similar microgrids for other government facilities, critical infrastructure like hospitals, industry and commercial systems as well as homes and neighborhoods.

“For me, starting with the military is important for national security and grid vulnerabilities,” Prehoda says. “But it also jumpstarts technology.”

The first step is recognizing what it takes to outfit domestic military bases–and eventually military sites abroad–to combat power grid failure from natural disasters and terrorist attacks.


The full paper is available free and open access at:

First, the military already has plenty of backup in the form of diesel generators at most military installations…which can run 24/7, not just when the sun shines. This looks like a sales pitch for solar to me.

Their results found that the military needs 17 gigawatts of PV to fortify domestic bases–the systems are technically feasible, within current contractors’ skill sets and economically favorable.

Second, I generally don’t trust organizations that require me to give them my contact list in order to read the paper: (my email address is obscured on purpose)

Third, a fuel-cell system would be a far better approach, as they run 24/7 and the military has already deployed several:

On July 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that, as part of an interagency partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to strengthen American energy security and develop new clean energy technologies, DOE and DOD will collaborate on a project to install and operate 18 fuel cell backup power systems at eight defense installations across the country. The Departments will test how the fuel cells perform in real world operations, identify any improvements manufacturers could make to enhance the value proposition, and highlight the benefits of fuel cells for emergency backup power applications.


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May 8, 2017 10:59 am

Any matter of localized “reliable” energy generation would suffice to distribute “single point failures” so that the grid is more damage tolerant.
No need to build a lot of unreliable systems to solve this issue. going down this path, we’d only have to build reliable systems to “back-up” the unreliable ones.

Carbon BIgfoot
Reply to  rocketscientist
May 8, 2017 1:31 pm

All we need is miniaturized Thorium Reactors buried in underground vaults as localized base loads. This nonsense should not see the light of day (sarc on).

Reply to  Carbon BIgfoot
May 8, 2017 2:54 pm

First we need to actually build one that works.

george e. smith
Reply to  rocketscientist
May 9, 2017 3:18 pm

Well regular solar radiation energy is not strong enough or concentrated enough to fry 100 ton transformers that take a year to build in outer Mongolia.
Ergo space weather blatches are much stronger than direct EM radiant solar, so a space weather event would for sure fry any solar panels whether they were turned on or not, by inducing huge DC currents and oscillations in the acres of solar panels.
I don’t see how we are better off. If it worked, it would only work n the daytime.

george e. smith
Reply to  rocketscientist
May 10, 2017 8:15 am

Well I now have a catalog from which I can buy my very own UHV overhead Transmission line steel reinforced Aluminum Cable; well so long as I don’t want to put up anything higher than 345 KV hardware.
A typical wire cable has a single steel center wire surrounded by several layers of aluminum wires of the same diameter; typically six around the one, and twelve around the seven, then eighteen around the nineteen making it thirty seven wires in all.
Each layer is contrary wound relative to the layer underneath. I haven’t looked far enough into the catalog yet to see if I can buy anything more than the 37 strand cable.
If I’m not mistaken, the smallest single wire size is about 0.08xx inches diameter, which is close to 2 mm diameter. It would seem that the overall cable diameter would then be about 0.56-0.57 inches diameter, so that is about the size of a #2 battery cable for your car.
So this is not the good stuff. But this would work to run to some lights in your back yard outhouse, from your roof solar panels, so you don’t get surprised by a Burmese python that got into your potty from the drainage canal, while doing some contemplation one evening.
I’ll have to do some more digging to find out how big the good stuff is so I can run 345 KV out to my Tandem Van de Graf, that I use to run space weather experiments.
This is early in the project, so I could benefit from some grant moneys, if y’alls have got any spare change.
I think these wires come in at least 1,000 foot spools, but I may have to get a few to reach out to my Lightening Shack. I don’t want to keep it too close to the house; those damn things are noisy when they go off, and I don’t even know yet whether stuff goes flying in the air when you zapp them.
I’m curious whether there is a potential electrolytic corrosion problem with the Aluminum around Steel cable construction. There doesn’t seem to be any insulation between the Steel center wire, and the aluminum six wire layer.

May 8, 2017 11:02 am

“I come from a military-oriented family, so for me the military is important to bridge the technical capacities and policies to trickle down to other critical infrastructure and services,”
In my experience the military is usually a decade or more behind technologically, at least for major systems. And to a point this makes sense. When a military system has to be relied on to keep functioning, then older well understood and field tested equipment is the way to go. Not new untried and untested systems that may fail in many unexpected ways.

Reply to  ddpalmer
May 8, 2017 11:09 am

Every military base has back-up power generation, usually diesel powered generators. They also have a supply of diesel fuel around as well, you know to power the trucks, vehicles, loaders,…..Tried and true, easy to maintain (even by a poorly educated enlistee) and inexpensive.
Let’s listen to the bean counters complain when the military is forced to increase their budget to account for energy costs that are wildly higher.

Reply to  rocketscientist
May 9, 2017 3:23 am

All the diesel gen sets rely on fuel — how many months of power does the average military base have on hand?

Reply to  rocketscientist
May 9, 2017 8:56 am

Steve, they’re talking about emergency energy supplies. When you ask how many months of diesel, that goes well past any emergency situation. Trying to depend on solar or wind for more than a very short period is irresponsible (IMO).

Reply to  Bob Shapiro
May 9, 2017 9:00 am

The Army has clearly stated their goal is to handle a 2-week utility / water outage.

george e. smith
Reply to  rocketscientist
May 9, 2017 3:21 pm

That number is classified.

Reply to  ddpalmer
May 8, 2017 11:53 am

” older well understood and field tested equipment is the way to go.”
True. I’m retired now, so not quite up to date, but just a few years years ago critical aircraft system were running on 80486’s. It was the latest certified processor. And it isn’t that long ago that Zilog Z80’s (remember them?) were retired for similar applications.

May 8, 2017 11:05 am

Micro generation is not a bad idea if your only goal is energy security in an emergency.
For most of us, there are other considerations as well. Such as availability and price.
Still if security is the only thing that matters, why not go with the most secure of all Diesel generators with sizable tanks. (PS, most military bases already have large supplies of diesel on hand for all the heavy equipment that is constantly being used on the bases.)

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 11:07 am

Another point is that a diesel generator can be tucked away in a secure bunker.
How are you going to protect all those solar panels and wind mills during an enemy attack?

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 1:26 pm

There is the reason that any Pentagon officer that doesn’t round-file this “study” should be demoted – if not dismissed.
Backup generation on a military base is inside the “core” defense zone – which is restricted to the smallest area that will allow the mission to continue. My next-door AFB has its hangers, flight line, runways, bunkers, etc. inside the most protected zone, besides their backup generation. They do have a solar PV installation (this is Tucson, where it makes some sense) – for a limited number of base houses. Which are at the perimeter of the base, where they actually be shoehorned into the available real estate (even on this extremely large base – used to be a SAC base with a full complement of B-52s). Even this very limited installation would (my best estimate) require at least a company to defend it.

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 1:50 pm

The U.S. military has been operating small nuclear power generation facilities safely for decades. We should build more of them and use them to power our military bases.

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 7:47 pm

That was one of my first thoughts too. I do not see how solar panels and bird-mincers can be protected against enemy saboteurs.

Keith J
Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 12:43 am

Considering North Korea has two satellites in polar orbit that may contain fission warheads, EMP risk is greatly magnified with such distributed grid ties for alternative generation.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 3:25 am

Wrong – We are talking about fields of solar as far as the eye can see — now the baddies just need to take down the grid (easy) and then wait for the diesel fuel to run out before we are crippled. It would be a lot harder to take out acres of solar cells on military bases all over the US without getting destroyed by the US military.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 5:17 am

I agree with Bob. Why hit the solar panels? The panels only produce power in the daytime, turbines only when the wind blows. Just take down the 24/7 grid and wait for the diesel to run out. If you’re trying to shut down electricity, it’s foolish to go for the part-time, virtue-signalling “renewables”. Take out the real power and be done with it.

Mr Bliss
Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 6:53 pm

Oh mark, that’s easy – you hide them underground.

Tom Halla
May 8, 2017 11:07 am

I suppose they envision the military using nonexistent grid-scale batteries at night.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 9, 2017 5:18 am

What? Nonexistent???? (/sarc)

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 9, 2017 5:25 am

EOS is selling their grid scale batteries now. $160/kWh of capacity for 2017 delivery. $95/kWh of capacity for 2022 delivery.
Rated at 10,000 cycles, so the 2022 delivered batteries will be $0.0095/kWh delivered to the grid. Even if the batteries are only used 50%/cycle that’s only 2 cents per kWh to time shift the power from day to night.
I imagine utilities will put several out at time so most of the batteries will either get a full cycle at night, or no usage at all, so exceeding 50% utilization per cycle should be easy.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 7:29 am

The batteries themselves are only about 10% of the cost of battery storage.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 8:05 am

In a DC solution?
ie. PVs generate DC. Use it to directly charge the DC batteries, then use the DC to run through the same inverters the PVs use. I see little incremental cost beyond the batteries when supplementing PVs.
btw: the EOS batteries are the size of a shipping container and cost 6 figures.
As I said grid scale..

Tom Halla
Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 10:46 am

Quibbling over the term “grid scale”. Anything out there commercially, rated in thousands of megawatt-hours? Hundreds?

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 9, 2017 1:15 pm

As I recall, each 11ft x 11ft x 16ft container is 1.0 MWh worth of capacity. It is designed to be ganged together, but you will need a lot of physical space. If you have a 200x200ft space, you can pop down 324 of these and have 324 MWh of battery power available.
But I’m pretty sure that is NOT a recommended deployment.
The first test unit installed at a end-user was used to provide peaking power for a high-rise in NYC. They put the battery in the shipping area for the building.
I believe that when used in conjunction with the AC grid that is one of the recommended deployment option. ie. Place the batteries near the end-user location. That allows both a peak production need and a peak transmission need to be addressed with a single battery.
Let’s say a large building is maxing out the power transmission capability of the power lines with the afternoon A/C running. Using the battery to pull down power overnight, then provide it in the afternoon can allow more A/C to be used without having to upgrade the wires from the building back to some larger source.

May 8, 2017 11:07 am

How is this fortified PV microgrid system possible? I have been told, while a senior chief petty officer stationed at a Navy communications station less than 10 years ago, that even the communications equipment under ground is susceptible to a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Further even the Cheyenne Mountain Complex military installation and nuclear bunker located in Colorado stores vacuum tube communications due to the high probability that the solid state equipment is wiped out.
So, just how are the solid state inverters, regulators and transfer switches (let alone the PV panels acting as a good antenna) going to survive an EMP or nearby lightning strike?

Reply to  usurbrain
May 8, 2017 11:11 am

Easy, to fortify the PV microgrid the first thing you need to do is put it in an underground bunker.

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 11:16 am

And then use diesel generated electricity to power lights to shine on the panels to make electricity! Even more distributed redundancy!

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 12:25 pm

Might work with a roof of several feet of bullet proof glass plus the necessary EMP protection, ignoring the inherent 90% reduction in output.

Rick K
May 8, 2017 11:12 am

Incredible. The PV systems they suggest don’t work at night… and the researchers’ brains don’t work during the day. Not a good combination.

Reply to  Rick K
May 8, 2017 1:51 pm

Unfortunately that was a very true comment. I know it is a long time since I served and it was in the Corp of Engineers. we had a lot of generators run by gas or diesel to survive in the field and support other activities requiring electricity. I wonder how you take solar panels to the field to perform these necessary job with backup if it’s a night battle do they use fossil fuel for backup.. One of the Branches I was in charge of taught the repair and maintenance of gas turbine generators and we had a bunch of them in teaching bays.
Every Hospital and other critical operation has fossil fuel Generation for back up. I hope the military already has fossil fuel backup for other critical non battle field operations. This article makes no sense except to push the Obama agenda. .

Reply to  Rick K
May 9, 2017 3:28 am

Rick — This is a red herring a PV powered hybrid system works at night — that is like saying a “gasoline powered car doesn’t start without a battery” so they are useless. PV powered microgrids have batteries and usually another source of power – e.g. a generator running off of fuel. The idea is to use as little fuel as possible.

Reply to  Rick
May 9, 2017 7:30 am

The problem is that you need to keep the generator running all the time to takeover when a cloud passes overhead.
So the PV doesn’t reduce fuel usage much, if at all.

Reply to  Rick
May 9, 2017 7:31 am

PS: Plus the problem have having to cart and protect two power systems when only one is really needed.

May 8, 2017 11:13 am

In the engineering field we refer to these sort of suggestions as” “A bad idea whose time has come.”

michael hart
May 8, 2017 11:16 am

Well, yes. If we build something that doesn’t work, then a potential enemy wouldn’t be able to harm us so much by destroying it. Fiendishly clever.
Unfortunately, that style of logical reasoning really does persuade many people who have swallowed the green pill.

Andre Lauzon
May 8, 2017 11:20 am

If the weather is bad would they suspend the war?????????

May 8, 2017 11:22 am

There is a story from WW II regarding fooling the enemy. The Germans had spent a great deal of money fabricating a false airfield with wooden airplanes. They spent a great deal of money and effort replicating the detail to “fool” the allied forces, but couldn’t seem to attract any interest from attacking allied bombers. It was not until the end of the war was imminent that a allied bomber made a single pass down the main runway and dropped a single ….wooden…bomb.

Reply to  rocketscientist
May 8, 2017 12:13 pm

I would think that any air field that still had all it’s planes on the ground in the middle of a raid, would be identified pretty quickly as a “fake” airfield.

David Chappell
Reply to  rocketscientist
May 8, 2017 1:07 pm

Just to keep the record straight, the Allies in the run-up to D-Day also created a large number of fake tank parks and the like to deceive the Germans.

Ron Williams
Reply to  David Chappell
May 8, 2017 1:58 pm

Yes, and it worked. The Germans were monitoring this build up of military assets across the northern channel In England expecting the main invasion to come across the channel further in northern France. When the invasion came from southern England to Normandy, this caught the Germans of guard for the 12 hours it took to establish the beach head and turned the course of the war.

Reply to  David Chappell
May 8, 2017 1:59 pm

Prior to the last battle of El Alemain (sp?) the British built a number of fake tanks to deceive the Germans and Italians as to where the main thrust of the attack was going to be. If I remember the documentary that I watched correctly, it worked.
They also built entire fake battalions opposite Calais to go along with their other dis-information campaigns that tried to convince the German’s that the channel crossing was going to occur their. This one appears to have been successful as well.

Reply to  David Chappell
May 8, 2017 4:25 pm

The decoy vehicles were painted canvas on wooden frames, so they could be set up or taken down and moved quickly. The decoys and the men handling them had their own unique unit name and insignia and radiomen who broadcasted fake orders to them. Even had an elaborate (for the time) sound truck that could simulate tank and rifle fire.
Note that this was a civilian unit of mostly artists, who created and maintained the decoys. If they had been attacked for real, they would have been defenseless.

Reply to  David Chappell
May 8, 2017 5:44 pm

If they had been attacked for real, they would have been defenseless.
I’m not so sure. Some of those paintbrushes have pretty pointy ends…

george e. smith
Reply to  rocketscientist
May 9, 2017 3:38 pm

I grew up quite near an airfield full of wooden aeroplanes. We called them ” Hudson Bombers ”
They were actually modeled on a US made plane of that name. (twin engine medium bomber.)
And I do mean modeled. They were smaller than the real thing, to give overhead attacking aircraft a false sense of their real altitiude, which would suck them down lower to be better within AA range.
I actually got to crawl around inside one of those things. Probably that was somewhat after the potential Japanese threat was diminished.
The name of the airfield; in case somebody wants to fact check: Whenuapai (fen-oo-ah-pie)
Actually it’s fe-noo-ah-pa-ee. All sillabbles end in a vowel.

Dodgy Geezer
May 8, 2017 11:48 am

IF I were doing the risk analysis I would ask:
1 – How many activist groups opposed to various military policies and weapons are there?
2 – How many of these groups can get hold of black spray paint?

george e. smith
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 9, 2017 3:42 pm

or a rock.

May 8, 2017 11:58 am

What the report doesn’t apparently talk about is the cost of diesel at the battlefront.
If you want to get diesel to a forward team in Afghanistan, it is a major, major expense. You have to put together a manned convoy to transport it, and it is very possible soldiers will die from sniper fire in the transportation process. It could well be valued at 100x the value of diesel available at your local truck stop.
Thus the value of solar + battery for those very forward teams is amazingly good and likely a life saver.
The reason I would argue in favor of solar at domestic bases is training and familiarity. You want the soldiers to be routinely working with the equipment their lives will depend on once they get to the front lines.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 8, 2017 12:16 pm

What’s the cost of getting a much, much larger PV system to the front?
What’s the cost of keeping that huge PV system protected from sniper fire?
What are the odds of a forward team having a portable diesel generator in the first place?
What’s the odds of you actually thinking for once?

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 12:25 pm

If the forward forces arrived there in a vehicle, then they already have a diesel powered generator. All they need now is fuel which is easily airdropped in bladders. BTW the bladders are specially designed to allow a vehicle to drive over them to “squeeze out” the fuel to speed up fuel transfers without the need for pumps.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 8, 2017 12:17 pm

Well if you want the special forces in the field to be familiar with base sized (MW scale) solar generation capabilities then by all means train them, but don’t be surprised to learn that MW sized solar power generators don’t work so well on a mobile battle field, nor are very mobile.
Being familiar with alternatives is always a good idea. I used to train Boy Scouts to always be prepared, and that the best preparation to always have on hand are your wits. However, leaving them behind as you go out to navigate reality doesn’t serve anyone well.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 8, 2017 1:41 pm

The devil is always in the detail.
In the 1970s I implemented pv systems for remote equipment. It saved a bucket of bucks for my employer and paid for itself in less than a year. One might expect me to be a solar cheerleader, and one might be surprised to find that the roof of my house is unsullied by pv panels.
Without knowing the intricate details of the application, any speculation about the applicability, or lack thereof, of pv is just bloviation.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 8, 2017 2:01 pm

Another point is that if you expect your troops to fight at night, you either need a lot of batteries or you need a backup diesel generator.
If you are going to haul a diesel generator up to the front anyway, you might as well skip the PV panels and just take the generator.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 4:24 am

It is more and more common for new military vehicle designs to have a built in generator – google OBVP – on board vehicle power
With that you don’t have to tow a generator behind. It is always with the vehicle. But diesel is still a major issue.The army is working hard to cut down on diesel usage in the field.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 7:33 am

How much more diesel would be required to cart that PV array, plus the men needed to protect it?

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 8, 2017 4:16 pm

Reconnaissance, Enemy Recon. Any field of of solar cells are just screaming look over here!
Probably would show up on a satellite picture.
You have to hide power sources the enemy is going to be trying to destroy them, and back track their location to what is being supplied power.
Also because they are view-able the enemy can make estimates as to the size value of the installation being powered. Kind of like counting the latrines to get an enemy force estimate.

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
May 9, 2017 4:11 am

Whether you like it or not, the army is working on bringing PV to auxiliarly base camps:

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
May 9, 2017 7:34 am

The army does stuff because the politicians order it, not because it makes sense.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 4:43 am

For those that think I’m an making this up:
“With that in mind, SLB-STO-D is focusing on reducing fuel demand by 25 percent, water demand by 75 percent and waste by 50 percent through a variety of efficient technologies. Such reductions would make base camps more self-sufficient while also saving lives by keeping resupply convoys off dangerous roads.”
“Those convoys are typically not well-protected,” Tamilio said. “There’ll be less convoys on the road, less Soldiers in harm’s way and ultimately, less casualties.”

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 5:20 am

I suppose that works until an attack occurs on the base. Then things go downhill fast…..

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 1:01 pm

“I suppose that works until an attack occurs on the base. Then things go downhill fast…..”
I think I would rather depend on a truck convoy than have to depend on a solar power installation in a battlefied situation. New fuel convoys can be assembled very quickly and can be defended enroute, unlike destroyed solar power installations.
One thing to keep in mind: Night military attacks don’t use much artificial light, other than flares. The dark is your friend. No solar panels required.

george e. smith
Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 3:46 pm

Did you look at that panel. It has about ten times the dead covered area that an efficient solar panel would have. POS is the best way to describe it.

Reply to  george e. smith
May 9, 2017 3:52 pm

If you point at the title and click it takes you to the article. WordPress took the url I posted and pulled down a non-relevant picture.

May 8, 2017 12:06 pm

Fuel supply is one reason why the Army has a quartermaster core.

Reply to  ristvan
May 8, 2017 12:16 pm

corps. Darn stupid spellchecker.

Reply to  ristvan
May 8, 2017 1:59 pm

I’ve started to call them spell blockers.

South River Independent
Reply to  ristvan
May 8, 2017 8:48 pm


Dr. Strange
Reply to  ristvan
May 9, 2017 3:30 am

How many days of autonomy do the 400+ military bases have for fuel…The quartermasters cant make fuel appear out of thin air….solar PV would allow them to do this.

george e. smith
Reply to  ristvan
May 9, 2017 3:41 pm

Nothing rong with your spell checker.
It’s your stupid keyboard; keeps on writing typos !

Dodgy Geezer
May 8, 2017 12:13 pm

You have to put together a manned convoy to transport it, and it is very possible soldiers will die from sniper fire in the transportation process…..
If that’s a problem, it will be brought in by helicopter. Which is often the case in Afghanistan.
If I need a mobile phone charged out in the wild, a small solar cell would be useful. For anything much bigger, I want reliable energy, which usually comes in jerry cans…

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 8, 2017 12:17 pm

I’ve always been fascinated by the eagerness of people who don’t even know which end of gun to hold, pontificating on military matters as if they were experts.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 1:10 pm

Well, it’s true that it’s my younger brother who’s a Colonel in the Royal Marines and is more used to yomping up a hill with a GPMG – I just started my career working in Navy Command/Control and Logistics…..

Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 2:02 pm

Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that you were the one I was referring to.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 9, 2017 3:05 am

I wasn’t talking about a fuel convoy to support a lone soldier or small squad.
Here’s an article about a 300 hundred man base camp test performed at the Aberdeen Test Ground:
“A 10 percent ECU efficiency improvement would translate to a savings of more than three million gallons of fuel. This represents not only a potentially significant cost savings but a major reduction in the number of fuel convoys required to sustain the operations,” Campbell said. “The ICE program has built prototypes which have shown that the 10 percent efficiency reduction is achievable. We are looking to continue our efforts with an ultimate goal of as much as a 30 percent efficiency improvement in all ECUs.”
I didn’t take time to google for more public info, but there is a significant effort by the Army to reduce the use of diesel at remote base camps, and a 30% reduction is a challenging goal.
FYI: Fort Gordon, near me in Georgia, got a solar farm recently. Batteries to allow night time use of the power haven’t been deployed yet as far as I know, but they are coming down in cost and having them would less than double the cost of the solar farm at Fort Gordon. Fort Gordon is the Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence so I follow activity there to some extent.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 5:25 am

It’s a solar plant, not a farm.
I have to wonder—why not just use horses like they did in the good old days when solar was the only light there was and wind pumped water? If we’re going to demand the use of 19th century technology in the 21st century, just bring in the horses, a milk cow, some chickens. etc and live self-sufficiently on bases. Guineas make great guard animals and provide eggs and can be eaten if need be. Let’s just go wholesale 19th century and stop with the painful attempts to shove a square peg in a round hole.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
May 9, 2017 1:05 pm

“Guineas make great guard animals”
Yes, they do! They can get quite noisy when disturbed.

May 8, 2017 12:16 pm

Weapons grade stupidity.

Reply to  ristvan
May 8, 2017 6:36 pm

Stupidity is easily weaponized.

Reply to  PiperPaul
May 9, 2017 5:26 am

No need to weaponize. It’s everywhere. Just exploit it.

george e. smith
Reply to  PiperPaul
May 9, 2017 3:50 pm

But more unstable than nitro-glycerine; or silver iodide for that matter.

Reply to  ristvan
May 8, 2017 7:59 pm

Ristvan, that was my very first thought, in just those words, when I started reading the thread. That was followed immediately by wondering how such equipment could be protected from attack! Some security!

Joel Snider
May 8, 2017 12:25 pm

As with any of these studies, beyond the details of the study itself, you also have to look at the FACT of it, and the verbiage used to sell it.
Because they live in stereotypes, they think they’re being very savvy by pitching to an audience – it’s the same sort of manipulation attempted when they try to convince you ‘there’s money to be made’ (because everyone knows skeptics are all conservative Republicans, who are by Progressive definition ‘greedy’), or ‘we don’t have to use Middle East oil’ (because the same stereotype hates Middle Easterners), OR of course, play to their concerns about security (so we’ll use that as a buzzword for an angle to sell this).
There are others of course – aimed at Progressives – some focused more on the bleeding hearts (do it for the children… or the poor), or race baiters (minorities impacted most), and of course, casting the opposition as ‘rich, fat white guys.
It’s a playbook – a fairly simple one, with repeating verses.
Of course, soap operas tend to tell the same stories over and over again too. It’s also why Hollywood specializes mostly in sequels.

David L. Hagen
May 8, 2017 12:37 pm

“very friendly” North Korea appears to be perfecting a nuclear EMP attack following the Soviet strategy. What’s to prevent it from an EMP attack on the USA, Japan, and So. Korea?
EXCLUSIVE – Congressional Expert: North Korea Prepping EMP Catastrophe Aimed At U.S. Homefront

TEL AVIV – While the international community and news media focus on North Korean missile tests and the country’s nuclear program, one expert warned on Sunday that North Korea may be secretly assembling the capability to take out significant parts of the U.S. homeland via an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. . . .
Pry was referring to the KMS 3-2 and KMS-4 earth observation satellites launched by North Korea in April 2012 and February 2016 respectively.
He warned: “They are positioning themselves as sort of a nuclear missile age, cyberage version of the battleship diplomacy in my view. So that they can always have one of them (satellites) very close to being over the United States or over the United States. . . .
So, the idea was to put a nuclear weapon on a satellite. Launch it on a satellite trajectory toward the south so it is also flying away from the United States. Orbit it over the South Pole and come up on the other side of the earth so that it approaches us from the south.
Because we didn’t during the Cold War and even today we still don’t have ballistic missile early radar warnings looking south. We don’t have any national missile defenses to the south. We are blind and defenseless to the south. We can’t see anything coming from that direction. Then when this gets over the United States you light it off so that it does an EMP attack. . . .
I am looking at an unclassified U.S. Government chart that shows a 10-kiloton warhead (the power of the Hiroshima A-Bomb) detonated at an altitude of 70 kilometers will generate an EMP field inflicting upset and damage on unprotected electronics. …
On April 30, South Korean officials told The Korea Times and YTN TV that North Korea’s test of a medium-range missile on April 29 was not a failure, as widely reported in the world press, because it was deliberately detonated at 72 kilometers altitude. 72 kilometers is the optimum burst height for a 10-Kt warhead making an EMP attack. …
According to South Korean officials, “It’s believed the explosion was a test to develop a nuclear weapon different from existing ones.” Japan’s Tetsuro Kosaka writes in Nikkei, “Pyongyang could be saying, ‘We could launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack if things get really ugly.’”
“The April 29 missile launch looks suspiciously like practice for an EMP attack,” Pry wrote. “The missile was fired on a lofted trajectory, to maximize, not range, but climbing to high-altitude as quickly as possible, where it was successfully fused and detonated — testing everything but an actual nuclear warhead.”

Reply to  David L. Hagen
May 8, 2017 2:02 pm

The U.S. military ought to send their X-37B spacecraft up and destroy North Korea’s satellites. Just in case. The likelyhood that the North Korean satellites harbor nuclear devices is low, but you never know, and if they are, then that’s big trouble.
This is the position our last three presidents have put us in. Their inactions have possibly put us at the mercy of Kim Jung Un. And Kim Jung Un doesn’t have any mercy.

Ron Williams
Reply to  TA
May 8, 2017 2:41 pm

I think the real fear is a dirty bomb that NK may have in orbit already, or ready to launch innocuously into orbit as a communications satellite when really its future purpose is to be de-orbited on command over the lower 48. That could be a real mess, or even if they sell this to other bad guys wanting to do harm to others. We should be putting our foot down by denying them entry to space and orbit, based upon their direct threats to annihilate us. We are still technically at war with them, so wouldn’t even take an act of Congress to authorize.
With THADD almost complete and ready to operate, we should just shoot down every launch attack. It would be good target practise.

Reply to  TA
May 8, 2017 7:25 pm

“We should be putting our foot down by denying them entry to space and orbit, based upon their direct threats to annihilate us.”

Reply to  David L. Hagen
May 8, 2017 2:04 pm

I could be mis-remembering here, but I thought you needed fusion devices to trigger an EMP, and Kim still is trying to get his fission devices to work most of the time.
Beyond that, he has not yet reduced even his fission devices enough to fit them on missiles, much less launch them into space.

Ron Williams
Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 4:04 pm

Don’t Google that or you will be on a watch list. The fission device is detonated by conventional high grade explosives which then sends a significant firing pin that slams into the fissionable material, setting it all off at once. That’s all I remember from the Discovery Channel show.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 8:51 am

Ron, your explanation is a bit lacking. Here is an elementary explanation of the engineering.
To create an A-bomb or N-bomb, one does use conventional explosives to initiate the reaction because the smaller masses of reactive material tend to drive themselves apart when reacting. All the sub-masses are disposed about a spherical shell and then further surrounded by a shell of conventional high explosives. When the high explosives detonate the blast forces the reactive sub-masses into each other with sufficient force and pressure to allow the now “critical mass” to fuse or fission depending on the reactive material.
A-bombs, H-bombs and N-bombs all create EMPs. F-bombs…. not so much.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
May 9, 2017 5:28 am

We are in so much trouble if they can pull this off. No need to invade the US—just wait for the panic-stricken people whose cell-phones don’t work, who can’t access Facebook or Twitter, can’t text, can’t watch Netflix, etc to just go crazy and wipe themselves out. Then come in and appropriate whatever is left. In a way, if it can be done, it’s very ingenious.

Ron Williams
May 8, 2017 1:00 pm

Some of the greatest threats to the grid is from cyber attacks. For large scale infrastructure which would include military bases, a cyber attack delivered via the public internet always has a chance that its security detail can be compromised. Therefore the first thing that should be considered is having critical infrastructure and military bases on a local country nation wide Intranet (WAN- Wide Area Network) that is impervious to any outside attack delivered via the now global wide Internet. Not the entire country, but major critical infrastructure including military bases and assets.
Power grids and electricity generating assets are controlled by SCADA systems (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) and getting this critical infrastructure isolated from the public internet will have to be done at some point, since when the internet was designed mainly in the USA in the 1960’s through research programs at ARPANET, it wasn’t designed for our enemies to be using concurrently with ourselves and all our assets generally available for attack. The beauty of the internet is that is was designed to be foolproof in end to end communications anywhere the network was available. And it generally is, as we see with stealthy hacking going on globally.
The general question was how could we supply renewable energy to military bases to not only make them more robust, but also less ‘carbon’ intensive from fossil fuel sources. If I were tasked with solving this issue, I would do it by sourcing the renewable energy from the grid locally that would be verifiable. Let the private sector to what they do best and forget about each military base operating its own primary generating micro grid or having its own solar park, unless it is remotely isolated or overseas.
Using the sourced renewable energy, then use the renewable energy to make enough hydrogen through electrolyses (30 day supply) that is stored securely on base, and have the fuel cells physically protected from attack. And don’t forget to keep the diesel generators since they are already bought and paid for and would be double back up redundancy to the main grid and hydrogen fuel cell generation, while in an emergency, being able to provide the base with real time electricity and the hydrogen electrolyses generators with power to make hydrogen. Stationary fuel cells are now commercially available at a reasonable cost, and work well. If the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, then the fuel cell kicks in to make up the difference at night time for example.
Therefore to sum up, we operate the military base normally on grid electricity sourced from the renewable private sector off base, while keeping a full supply of hydrogen on base made with renewables for a 30 day secure electricity supply that is backed up by existing diesel infrastructure as a last line of defence. If renewables can’t meet the base demand, then the hydrogen fuel cells kick in. Finally if the local grid can be protected by a WAN Intranet SCADA operating system, then the grid is more robust from a cyber attack through the internet. Other than the hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysers being the only new equipment needed, everything else is already in place only needing to be prioritized such as allowing some network capacity to be dedicated to a country wide WAN Intranet.

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 8, 2017 2:06 pm

We definitely need to isolate our critical infrastructure from internet hackers.

Reply to  TA
May 8, 2017 2:07 pm

I thought the military had a second secure network that wasn’t connected to the internet at any point?
There weren’t even supposed to be any computers that were connected to both networks.

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 8, 2017 2:06 pm

Why not use cheap energy instead of renewable energy?

Ron Williams
Reply to  MarkW
May 8, 2017 2:31 pm

They definitely do have separate isolated networks for mission critical applications. But not for everyday mundane issues like the local power grid. Mainly on satellite comm for global applications, but also they do have their own dedicated WAN networks independent of the internet in the lower 48. A lot of it is still on copper, and some of is still analog. And vacuum tube back up from what I read above. We don’t hear much about our local military getting hacked directly. Which is why the EMP threat.
I thought the point of the article we are replying to was to use more renewable energy, especially for the commitments by the military to do so. I am not arguing in favour of such, but only addressing my opinion how that could be put together. It would definitely cost more than just using cheap fossil fuel operators. IMO, it would be stupid for each military base to have it’s own solar farm, or windmills. Better to have the local utility just contract that out to the lowest bidder through an IPP that the military can tap into. The only thing the military does efficiently is to reign down fire and brimstone on the enemy. Which is what I want them to do if they have to.

May 8, 2017 1:01 pm

Re: “what happens if they bomb you at night?”
You should read the paper first — Solar provides the power as part of a hybrid system that includes generators and battery storage. The solar just shoulders the heavy lifting of energy production so you are not reliant on additional sources of fuel (e.g. diesel for generators, NG for fuel cells etc.). Night, cloudy weather, etc. are covered by the hybrid part…The current back up generators are fine for small power outage — large scale long term outages need something that doesnt rely on a fuel pipeline — The US is vulnerable and this is one way out of it.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
May 8, 2017 8:04 pm

Quite right Anthony. It’s highly impertinant, let alone questionable, for them to ask for your contact details.

Dr. Strange
Reply to  Anthony Watts
May 9, 2017 3:34 am

The paper was posted on – it is a nerd site that holds papers for free – dont be a pussy and login. If it is too scary for you – you can buy the paper from the publisher by googling the title.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
May 9, 2017 7:36 am

Fascinating how a troll that doesn’t even use it’s own name, is insulting Anthony because he’s reluctant to share his entire contact list with complete strangers.
Why don’t you drop enough money in the tip jar to pay for the paper, since money is no object to you?

Ron Williams
Reply to  Jenny
May 8, 2017 2:50 pm

Ok Jenny, let’s say we agree on all this, for military bases having more renewable energy as the short essay talks about. Does it make any difference if the renewable electricity is sourced from the the local utility (or IPP’s) or in your opinion, does the solar farm/windmills have to be on the base and owned by the military?

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 8, 2017 2:53 pm

If the military is “required” by Jenny’s eco-illogical dictatorship to waste its money buying “green fuels” (at three times the price of regular jet fuel), and wasting its training time and resources not buying weapons and real security but toys and shiny energy wasteful projects, will she drive around the country personally apologizing to the families of the men and women she has killed as a result of HER policies?

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 8, 2017 2:59 pm

If the point is energy security, than the source of the energy needs to be on the base.
If it is off base, then it doesn’t matter what type of energy is being used since the point of vulnerability is the power lines, not the source of the power.

Ron Williams
Reply to  Ron Williams
May 8, 2017 3:14 pm

I guess there is two definitions of energy ‘security’. If the renewables and grid are at a risk of attack, then yes, they would have to be on base. I don’t think this would apply to any military base state side.
If it is just a political directive to force the military to be more ‘green’ then then it doesn’t matter where they source the renewable electricity from. That sort of sounds silly doesn’t it. The military is going Green.
It was Texas oil that won WW 2, at least on the western front.

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 9, 2017 3:38 am

It is better if it is owned by the military because the solar electricity is less costly than purchasing it from the grid. Why would I want my taxes to fund some local utility that in no way is going to be more secure than the base microgrid. The idea that solar is more expensive than grid power is just flat out wrong now. Check this out:

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 9, 2017 5:06 am

This large scheme developed and managed for the military (saving them a considerable sum!)
so no, they don’t have to do it themselves

Reply to  Jenny
May 9, 2017 1:15 am

That much Jenny’s here – hugging and gathering?

May 8, 2017 1:07 pm

Hummm. How would this play out differently with the Bay Area grid attackers if instead they had attacked 2 or 3 privately owned solar farms in an era of few or zero fossil fuel baseload or standby plants? Would the other solar farms pick up the slack and the wind blow harder? Or would it just fall on the grid operator to magically go find the replacement power?

Ron Williams
Reply to  Resourceguy
May 8, 2017 2:15 pm

Well, that is the beauty of the electrical grid. When British Columbia sells electricity to California, the electricity doesn’t actually travel from BC to California, but is wheeled through multiple grid operators and utilities. Those electrons from BC get used in Washington State, and then WA state power sends their equivalent amount of electrons on down to Oregon, and then OR does the same to California. We all probably recall how Enron scammed that system by shutting off some of their generating assets making their electrons more valuable or not available. It is more of a bookkeeping exercise, mainly to keep line losses manageable.
With regards to the Bay Area grid attackers, if these local thugs were identified at Berkley behind their black masks and dispatched to Paradise, we wouldn’t have many of these thugs terrorizing us or our grid.

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 9, 2017 10:10 am

Not sure I understand your comment on line losses? While the total distance traveled by a specific quantity of electrons may be less but the sum of all the separate electrons is still the same, and aren’t the line losses the same although with “different” electrons? What am I missing?

keith jackson
Reply to  Resourceguy
May 8, 2017 2:25 pm

they want to reduce the population before the food runs out.

May 8, 2017 1:14 pm

You want distributed reliable power and don’t care about the cost? Install large dual fuel NG/LP or fuel oil diesels. They are small, reliable, 24/7, and dispatchable. It’s what they do in the third world.

May 8, 2017 1:24 pm

Prehoda also worked with her PhD adviser Chelsea Schelly, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan Tech, to assess policy needs.

“The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.”
— Thomas Sowell

May 8, 2017 1:25 pm

Distributed, redundant systems tend to be more robust. The internet as we know it was designed distributed and redundant to survive a Soviet attack. link
Distributed and redundant are a knee jerk reaction to a problem. As with all engineering problems, the devil is in the detail.
My favorite knee jerk reaction is the assumption that, if we throw enough government money at a problem, the necessary technology will develop. That’s what seemed to have happened with the space program. I note, with amusement, that it hasn’t happened with solar and wind power.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. H.L. Mencken

May 8, 2017 1:31 pm

And installing a diesel powered electric generator at your home will provide much greater security.

May 8, 2017 1:44 pm

Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
Vulnerabilities in the power grid are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community has called for building up the resiliency of the grid using distributed solar energy and microgrids for stabilization. Power production from multiple sources increases the difficulty of triggering cascading blackouts, and following an attack or natural disaster, microgrids can provide localized energy security.

May 8, 2017 1:54 pm

Prehoda says she comes from ‘a military-oriented family’. I’d ask her to prove it first.
This is a ridiculous and weak attempt to justify a research project on an unneeded change to an already-addressed item, power generation on military bases. Get over it, Tootsie. The military has been doing this for yeas. You should go talk to them before you run your silly mouth. And please, while you’re talking to REAL military people, what in the blue-eyed world sociology has to do with your project? Quit wasting my tax money, will you?

May 8, 2017 1:57 pm

“First, the military already has plenty of backup in the form of diesel generators at most military installations…which can run 24/7, not just when the sun shines. This looks like a sales pitch for solar to me.”
Look like you’ve never done war planning.
basically you create a worse case scenario.
Here the scenario is
1. Central grids are taken out by attack or natural disaster: Solution; Micro grid, Just in case.
2. FUEL SUPPLY is taken out: So local diesel generation is not an option, solution solar
So you invent a scenario where solar is the solution.
Its how we get something like the F35.

John Smith
Reply to  Anthony Watts
May 9, 2017 3:42 am

Damn you just dont get it — solar microgrids dont only have solar – they have batteries and something else – like fuel cells – but if you only use fuel cells you are going to burn through your fuel super fast — solar lets you stretch it out -and if the PV is rated for 100% of the load it will stretch it out for a long time.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 8, 2017 3:00 pm

Didn’t Obama already spend a 100 million or so to install solar etc on a military base to “go green” in order to save one million a year?
Why not test the idea by shutting off all outside power to that base for a month or so and see if it still retains any useful military function?
(Aside from, maybe, keeping the light bulbs lit so they can see that all the blank radar screens etc have left them blind?)

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 8, 2017 3:01 pm

The base already has a huge supply of diesel as diesel is used to power most of the vehicles on the base.
If the base is isolated long enough for the diesel to run out, it will run out of many other things such as bullets or food first.
If the base is attacked, the first thing destroyed will be that huge PV array.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 4:55 am

They are not talking about base attack scenarios
Nothing survives that. Duh.
As for fuel. . It runs out..
It’s pretty simple. .
Design a power system for a base that
A… doesn’t rely on the grid.
B… doesn’t rely on resupply.
It need not be survivable under direct attack.
How probable is such a scenario? Not very.
But then the scenarios of two front wars in the 1980s
Drove the design of our current fighters and bombers.
Some guys sat in room and said. ..assume the soviets attack via Fulda gap. Assume we also have to assign units to a korean conflict. Assume an advanced Soviet fighter (asf) assume advanced us missiles.
Design a fighter that can achieve air supremacy ( not just superiority) in this environment.
The systems that resulted from these assumptions fly today. The scenarios that drove the designs. ..we’re crazy.

Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2017 7:39 am

Since as you say, nothing survives attack, then that would definitely include the solar array.
So we are back to having to rely on diesel anyway.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 8, 2017 5:32 pm

Combined cycle natural gas plants are now the world’s most efficient power plants and they can be designed for just about any scale now 5 MW to 3,000 MW.
Storage cavern of natural gas, 2 kms underground, 5 MW mini-natural gas combined gas plant and there you have it.
Cheap, efficient, and fully scalable, energy source stored on-site in impenetrable facility.
Perfect for a simple back-up source in non-combat conditions as well.
Why solar? Because a sociology Phd is the adviser and green brain-washing is everywhere.

Reply to  Bill Illis
May 9, 2017 5:16 am

Why solar?
It Solves A Corner Case Cheaply. Unless building caverns for gas is cheap.

Reply to  Bill Illis
May 9, 2017 10:28 am

We already store natural gas in caverns, we don’t build them they are natural and only need to be piped up. My natural gas might be supplied by a cavern near Northern NJ.
It is idiocy to think these people who wrote the article have a clue except to patronize a past president and get more of our tax dollars. Diesel. Natural gas and gasoline are already widely distributed and stored, just look at the existing pipeline system throughout the USA and the distributed storage system throughout the Country all developed w/o tax dollars just private companies which works best.

Reg Nelson
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 8, 2017 5:56 pm

When were you ever a member of the military and involved in war planing?
When did you ever have a war planning paper published in a peer-reviewed paper?
Do you not know how hypocritical and ridiculous you appear? Is this lost on you?

Reply to  Reg Nelson
May 9, 2017 4:44 am

When were you ever a member of the military and involved in war planing?
From 1985 to 1993. But not as a member of the military.
Rather as a contractor. Basically planning and evaluations for taiwan. Malaysia. Korea. And us of course. We called it operations research.
“When did you ever have a war planning paper published in a peer-reviewed paper?”
What I published you would never be allowed to read.
Do you not know how hypocritical and ridiculous you appear? Is this lost on you?
Your first two questions were stupid. These two prove that your stupidity is limitless

South River Independent
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 8, 2017 9:12 pm

F35 is not needed and a colossal waste of money. Need more A10 Warthog for close air support. Pilots are becoming obsolete and most air missions will be performed by drones.

Reply to  South River Independent
May 9, 2017 1:49 am

You are just as right as the “no booths on the ground needed” belief which was pushed prior to the Iraq war!

Reply to  South River Independent
May 9, 2017 5:21 am

Advanced design Northrop. 1988. We suggested autonomous drones dropped from c130. At that stage we already had algorithms for attacking systems and even cooperative tactics..
This answer was not allowed as the military insisted that machine’s should not kill people. Only pilots could pull triggers.

South River Independent
Reply to  South River Independent
May 9, 2017 8:29 pm

What is a drone pilot? Chop Suey?

South River Independent
Reply to  South River Independent
May 9, 2017 8:33 pm

RPT: I said “most.” Close air support (implies boots on the ground.) Can anyone on this site read?
Who was the last US combat ace? There will most likely never be another one.

South River Independent
Reply to  South River Independent
May 9, 2017 8:35 pm

Guess we will have to trash all our pilot-less missiles, too.

Joel Snider
Reply to  South River Independent
May 10, 2017 12:26 pm

‘We suggested autonomous drones dropped from c130. At that stage we already had algorithms for attacking systems and even cooperative tactics. This answer was not allowed as the military insisted that machine’s should not kill people. Only pilots could pull triggers.’
Wow. The Progressive bemoaning the fact that the military wants the decision to kill people to be left in human hands.
This is a psychological case study all by itself. I just don’t have the strength, right at this moment, on my lunch hour, to fully develop this, but it does fit into a general profile of the Progressive mentality that has been evolving over the last couple of decades.
As far as the models go, their validity is no greater than any other virtual reality scenario. It gives you something to practice – but I think it was Sun Tzu that said any battle plan dissolves the moment of first contact – everyone has a plan until they get hit.
And THEN… reality intrudes.

May 8, 2017 1:59 pm

This is the kind of “science” study that needs to be de-funded. Not all “science” is worth doing.

L. Smith
May 8, 2017 2:09 pm

What a pity that students at my Alma Mater are so into drinking the kool-aid. Seems to me that these Phd. students are too busy trying to be trendy and social reformers to exercise common sense and good science.What a pity.

Kevin Terrill
Reply to  L. Smith
May 8, 2017 3:35 pm

They must have never left the lab in the EERC, otherwise they would’ve seen that Houghton doesn’t get any sunlight between September and April.

Alan Chew
May 8, 2017 2:27 pm

What utter academic nonsense this is. A total waste of public money. The work does not pass the pub test! What problem is she trying to solve? She needs to get outside the class room and get a real job…..although the cost benefit of employing such people would be doubtful at best!
Any installation of national importance will probably have reliable, tested diesel or gas back up. If it doesn’t, diesel can be installed for a fraction of the cost, and can be made secure from attack. The same security is not possible for a PV system, even with batteries……although if there are enough batteries to act as back up without the PV, why do you bother to install the PV in the first place. Just charge the batteries from the main grid……
I think they totally missed the bus.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Alan Chew
May 8, 2017 3:25 pm

And, at present, any attack that could take out a US base would likely be nuclear.
So much for solar panels and windmills. (Keep some in a storeroom to be installed after the attack as a last resort.)

May 8, 2017 2:57 pm

Since any PV solar cell that is pointed towards the sky will be instantly and totally zapped within the first few microseconds of an EMP blast in the sky, using this source for anything but a very few percent of utility-grade power is utterly dangerous as it relates to “security”.

May 8, 2017 3:46 pm

Emily Prehoda,
sure will end all wars.

May 8, 2017 3:57 pm

Not that much military background with Prehoda’s;
more in Hotellerie and gerontology.
Schwejk and Prehoda, Czech ‘Geheimwaffen’.

May 8, 2017 4:04 pm
Reply to  kreizkruzifix
May 8, 2017 4:08 pm

Ahoi Czechia,
Did you count your Svejk’s and Prehoda’s lastly?

May 8, 2017 4:15 pm

Karl Kraus invented ‘fake news’ – to test journalists :

May 8, 2017 4:23 pm

Obvious. But won’t help the masses who depend on a secure grid. Back bone cant wandle it. Micros and bomb shelters survive. Everyone else freezes or cooks.

May 8, 2017 4:28 pm

Jaques Offenbach: General Boum Boum

May 8, 2017 4:49 pm

And that one is for Von der Leyen; didn’t get ”Scheinasylanten” – so it has to be “Flieger grüss mir die Sonne”:

May 8, 2017 5:32 pm

From MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY and the “what happens if they bomb you at night?”
When Georgia with support of US and Israeli military advisers during the night canons the sleeping south ossetian capital tskhinvali then Putin wins.

May 8, 2017 5:42 pm

And Chancellor Merkel, as always, on the wrong side:

May 8, 2017 6:22 pm

“Wir warten nicht wir starten was immer auch geschieht”
“we won’t wait but we start straight whatever lies ahead”

P. H.
May 8, 2017 6:41 pm

Out of curiosity, how well does PV work with the 3 inches of snow that Mother nature decided to drop on my house here in So. Cal. Saturday night? (NWS said snow level was 5500′ but snow was down to 4000′ in some places.)
I seem to recall many mil bases are in places where snow is far more common.

May 8, 2017 7:20 pm

Berthold Brecht, Mutter Courage:
Es genügt nicht eine Wut zu haben.
Man muss eine lange Wut haben.

May 8, 2017 7:46 pm
May 8, 2017 7:58 pm

All that Bush’s and Reagan’s and Clinton’s;
But Obama took the cross “Yes we can”.
And Merkel took the cross “Es gibt keine Alternative”.

May 8, 2017 8:10 pm

We seem to have a thread bomber…

Reply to  Annie
May 9, 2017 12:25 am

Annie get your guns.
That road putin wins.
Answer at /dev/null/tty.

Reply to  Annie
May 9, 2017 12:36 am
Reply to  Annie
May 9, 2017 6:10 am

And I don’t think he is sober…

Retired Kit P
May 8, 2017 8:44 pm

I was in the navy for 10 years supervising the operation of the nuclear reactors. Every navy ship has a ‘micro grid’. Ships are vulnerable to all manner of things. Human error, mechanical failures, weather.
The grid and stationary power plants are subject to the same risks. Lots of efforts goes into improving reliability. There is a whole systematic approach.
Apparently not something they teach in Michigan if they suggest solar would improve grid reliability.
Vulnerable to attacks is a different matter. For example, with ‘micro grid’ in our motor home I have a plan for an emp. In event of nuclear war, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

May 8, 2017 8:44 pm

“Additionally, the paper’s lead author, Emily Prehoda, who is finishing her PhD in energy policy at Michigan Tech, says boosting bases’ energy independence supports local communities.“

“I come from a military-oriented family, so for me the military is important to bridge the technical capacities and policies to trickle down to other critical infrastructure and services”

What does “come from a military oriented family mean”?
I understand the term “army brat”.
I understand the concept, I married a sailor.
I understand the service preference family traits, e.g. My family is 100% army! or 100% Navy or 110% outstanding Marines!.
But, what in blazes is “military oriented”?
Sheltered, very naïve Emily Prehoda strenuously avoids genuine details in her “solar sales” marketing ploys.
for example;
How many acres of solar array is necessary?
Just how does the Navy or Army develop sufficient power under all weather and hemispheric conditions to run their energy gulping equipment?
Should the U.S. Air Force put several dozen acres of solar cells on early warning planes, to supply the energy drain of radar?
Nor is any mention made of this paper:
“Land-Use Requirements for Solar Power Plants in the United States”
Which happens to be a very confirmation biased research paper working almost as hard as Emily does, in hiding actual acreages of solar arrays needed for even very basic functions.
Another junk research fail!
Not that there is any future for Doctors of Energy Policy.
It does bring up the question(s); when is a Doctor, not really a Doctor?

South River Independent
May 8, 2017 9:23 pm

I imagine that the people working on the various classified programs created to address these issues will have a chuckle over this study.

May 8, 2017 11:52 pm

Second, I generally don’t trust organizations that require me to give them my contact list in order to read the paper: …
Google has been engaged in this kind of activities for a number of years now. (They basically own all your information in your Android phone/pad.) With Android 7.x they are trying to map different of networks geographically for sure and who’s on it, especially WiFi …
Apple? They are not much better …

May 9, 2017 12:12 am

Miss Pehoda and her sociologist adviser study and teach in Michigan.
They seem to not venture out much; if they did, they would know that during the winter months solar panel practically stop working (about 2% of annnual yield per month from Nov to Feb).
Michigan: They’ll scratch all those panels when removing the snow.

May 9, 2017 12:52 am

Annie get your gun. Mackthaberin Merkel. Gina McCarthy. Calamity Jane. Barbara Hendricks
Anyone else?

May 9, 2017 1:52 am

“kreizkruzifix May 9, 2017 at 12:57 am ”

Rather far off topic there, krazifix?
Your comments are so far off topic, I am reminded of a serial pest at another blog, cork dork.

May 9, 2017 3:26 am

I don’t see it mentioned, but in February, ie. early in the Trump admin, the army set a goal of all installations being able to run for 2 weeks without local utility power or water.
This effort I’m sure is part of that.

May 9, 2017 5:04 am

The US military has already installed both solar and microgrids widely across its US bases and saved considerable sums in the process…
Solar is also a useful supplement for field operations… you don’t have to ship in or protect convoys of diesel fuel. And the modern battlefield is full of electronic devices…

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Griff
May 9, 2017 10:47 am

Griff likes to post press releases from the solar industry that defies credibility.
We all know stupid people like Griff. They will get something for free that that they do not need. Free except for shipping and handling.
I needed (wanted) a new battery for my laptop. I did a GOOGLE search. The OEM was $60. Amazon had several. One was $15 +$5 s&h. I selected the $14.95 with free shipping.
Did I save $45? No I spent $15. Claiming you saved money because you did not make a stupid choice is what?
The wind and solar industry along with government free loaders make claims about ‘saving money’ based on the retail price of power from the grid. This ignores the real value of the power which is the wholesale cost of power sold to the grid.
This also ignores the capital cost that the government paid for the wind and solar projects. While the amount is estimated, the actual cost of the projects is not mentiones.
The wind and solar industry is like buying a car from a dealer. You have to assume you are dealing with a pack of liars. Before going to the dealer, I go to the library and make a few copies from consumer reports. I go to the dealer carrying a brown file folder. I ask how much is the car I want. In California, it appears to be a difficult question to answer. In small city Virgina, I got an answer first try and bought a car on my lunch break.

Reply to  Griff
May 10, 2017 11:19 am

Kit, has or has not the US military actually installed wind and solar power, and saved money?
You google it this time!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Griff
May 12, 2017 3:55 am

“Griff May 10, 2017 at 11:19 am
You google it this time!”
Google, the source of truth.
/sarc off

Joe - the non climate scientist
May 9, 2017 6:03 am

Speaking from my limited knowledge of military tactics, defense, etc., my understanding is speed in the single most important factor (or one of the most important factors ) in both offense and defense, especially with aircraft and naval forces. So why would you bio fuels to power the aircraft or naval forces which pack significantly less power and significant loss of speed.

May 9, 2017 6:19 am

Comments here about a military base running out of fuel are humorous!
I have not been involved with fixed bases before, but with mobile systems, the design pec would include how many days you need to fight for ie ‘battle days’. This then gives you the number of spares, fuel, food etc to keep the military affect functional for the agreed time.
I would imagine fixed base planning would be similar: how long does your base have provide its functionality for, which gives you the numbers of fuel etc – fallback systems etc etc.
It is all thought through before it hits the fan and smoothly cranks up as necessary (well, in the planner’s mind anyway…..).

May 9, 2017 7:41 am

Griff: Solar on a battlefield?
(Yes, a big flashing reflector right above the trenches. Saying “Shoot here! Hit your target. Right here!”
Command, control, power, rest area (troops), training area, repair area, storage area, sentries, entry or flight point? What do you want to get blown up?
Oh? Area? How many miles of extra perimeter do the troops need to defend with their lives and their muscle digging ditches, barbed wire, sandbags, and trenches and bunkers to encapsulate enough area to put up those big target saying “Shoot here!”
Nonsense. Pure propaganda. Can’t move them. Can’t hide them. Can get power but for 6 hours a day – IF the skies are clear – which is when the enemy can find the target under the solar cells and drop mortar, rocket, RPG, and cannon fire on the target.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
May 10, 2017 11:22 am

Other efforts to reduce weight include getting rid of heavy batteries. The Army is looking at ways to use more solar power, and to harvest and store energy from soldier movements. They’re also hoping developments in technology can reduce battery weight by up to 20 percent.

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