Even the Department of Defense knows that oil is a volatile and limited resource, and they are planning for a future without it. The DOD has released a new energy strategy designed to get more fight out of less fuel.
Currently, all military vehicles are required to be able to run JP-8, jet fuel, and many of them do run it on a daily basis. As you might imagine, keeping a massive military well fueled takes a lot of gasoline. It took over 10 billion gallons to power our war machine in 2010, at the cost of over $13.2 billion, with some fuel costing more than $400 per gallon. That helps the DOD makes up about 80% of the entire federal government’s energy use. 80% of convoys in Afghanistan are primarily for using fuel, and some 3,000 U.S. servicemen have been wounded or killed in Afghanistan and Iraq defending these fuel convoys. Those are some scary numbers to military brass, who have outlined a new energy strategy designed to get them off the oil standard.
There plan is simple, and three-fold; reduce demand and improve efficiency, secure energy security, and build energy security into the future fighting source. The military has explored multiple alternative fuel options, and at this point there is no telling what direction they could go, though they only have by 2040 to do it. But from biofuel jets to hybrid Hummers and algae-powered Navy vessels, the future of our armed forces is looking leaner, meaner, and greener.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.