Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to CNN, the Pentagon is in a position to kickstart the USA’s green transport revolution through its enormous procurement needs.
Key player in war on climate change? The Pentagon
Opinion by Michèle A. Flournoy
Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT) October 26, 2020
Michèle A. Flournoy is managing partner of WestExec Advisors, a strategic advisory firm, and former Undersecretary of Defense in the Obama administration. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author. View more opinion on CNN.
The Department of Defense has a critical role to play in this effort. It also has a strong interest in doing so.
Gradually replacing older vehicles with new hybrid or electric vehicles would not only be more fuel efficient, it would also grow the market for a nascent US industry. Similarly, retrofitting military facilities with green materials and technologies would make buildings more energy efficient, while also growing high-paying manufacturing and construction jobs.
Scaling investments in alternative energy like solar would lessen demand on local energy grids and help drive down the cost of renewable energy nationwide. By leveraging its procurement power to create large-scale demand, the DoD can accelerate market growth, helping green technologies become more viable and affordable for widespread use while enhancing American competitiveness.
Obviously if the US army is going to start running around remote battlefields in tanks which only have a few miles range, someone is going to have to install a lot of EV stations in some pretty inhospitable locations. It might also impact battlefield readiness if US tanks have half the range of opponents, take at least half an hour to recharge, and have to sacrifice armour to be lightweight and energy efficient.
I guess US soldiers could ask enemy combatants to refrain from attacking for half an hour per day, while the tanks are on fast charge, and for the sake of the planet to please refrain from firing RPGs at the fragile base solar panel array and wind turbine systems.