As reported in several articles in Wired Magazine, “The Pentagon recently set ambitious targets to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by a third in 10 years. However, that figure exempts the military’s bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the jets, ships, and ground vehicles that swallow up 75 percent of the military’s fuel supply.”
The impact of using mobile solar systems by the military could be enormous: “A single soldier in Afghanistan uses 22 gallons of fuel a day, and delivering each gallon to the war zone costs between $300 and $400, according to estimates released last year.”
And: “…Amory B. Lovins, chairman and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, in Colorado, calculated that a typical Marine Corps combat brigade needs more than a half-million gallons of fuel per day, and much of it is for generators. A single typical 60-kilowatt generator burns 4 to 5 gallons per hour, or $700,000 per year based on an estimated fuel cost of $17.44 per gallon in Afghanistan. Fueling one base’s generators might cost more than $34 million per year.”
Wired reports here on a Marine unit stationed in Afghanistan that’s reporting 90% savings in diesel fuel.
The Army has acquired Pure Power Mobile Solar Microgrid and finds it rugged and powerful, providing up to 12 times the power output of the 300 watt systems identified in these articles..