Tag Archives: biofuels

Powering the Pivot

RIMPAC 2014 PHOTOEX

Operational Energy in the Asia-Pacific Theater

The U.S. military will confront different operational energy challenges as large numbers of forces transition from Central Command towards the Pacific region. To explain these changes, DoD Power & Energy Editor George Jagels spoke with Dr. Stacy Closson, who recently co-authored a report for the Center for National Policy entitled “Rebalance to Asia: Implications for U.S. Military Energy Use.”

Dr. Closson is an Assistant Professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and formerly worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She is a Truman National Security Fellow and was named by the Atlantic Council an Emerging Leader of Environmental and Energy Policy.

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New Magazines Are Up

Take a look at our latest editions of Armor & Mobility and DoD Power, Energy & Propulsion at our website and issuu.com. These appeared as a “flipbook” double issue and went out to subscribers of both magazines. See features on Blue Force Tracking, vehicle ID, biofuels, and austere power. We also interviewed two luminaries in the maneuver warfare and operational energy field, respectively, BG David Bassett and Asst. Sec. Sharon Burke.

November A&M

November A&M


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Operational Energy by the Numbers

Take a look at the DoD’s energy use by the numbers. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Sharon Burke has worked diligently over the past few years to make energy a greater consideration in acquisition and strategy. (Graphic courtesy of OASD OEPP)

130930-D-UL289-001%20Infographic

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TDM’s Brief Retech Recap

In support of DoD Power, Energy & Propulsion, our magazine focusing on the military’s operational energy needs, Tactical Defense Media headed to RETECH 2013. Held annually in the DC area, RETECH works hard to inform the renewables industry on federal government and military energy requirements that they can fill. Here’s a short list of some comments we found interesting.

USAF Perspective

In the conference’s opening session, Douglas Tucker, Senior Facilities Energy Engineer, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics, discussed the USAF’s requirements. He reinforced the idea that efficiency is critical—particularly in forward-deployed bases—while noting that in CONUS facilities are so diverse that one renewable energy standard for the whole service is very difficult to achieve. Moreover, he said, renewable energy must be “cost competitive and reliable.”

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Do Biofuels Further National Security?

In what could be a brutal twist of irony, the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) claimed in a recent report that U.S. biofuel subsidies, partly aimed at augmenting national security, are helping to stoke instability in countries considered vital to American security. According to the institute’s modeling, the rise in prices in 2011—which spurred food riots in Egypt and elsewhere—can partly be blamed on corn ethanol subsidies causing a redistribution of American maize from exports to fuel production, causing the price of food to climb. Their quantitative observations “suggest that protests may reflect not only long-standing political failings of governments, but also the sudden desperate straits of vulnerable populations. If food prices remain high, there is likely to be persistent and increasing global social disruption.”

Though biofuel amounts to a small proportion of DoD energy outlays (about 7 percent), its financial feasibility will be determined by whether the market grows and costs come down. But that exact market growth could make the Middle East more unstable, precipitating national security risks and a rise in the price of oil biofuels were supposed to help protect against in the long run.

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