While it doesn’t sound too surprising to hear that Google Inc. leads the list of institutions purchasing clean energy, the second position belongs to an entity a bit more unconventional.
According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. Department of Defense, also known as The Pentagon, can now also be called the nation’s second biggest supporter of renewable electricity. And while Google is still comfortably in first place, the military’s commitment to more than 400 megawatts of solar energy dwarfs that of the tech giant, which hovers around 50 megawatts.
Both the Defense and Google Inc. and dozens of other big players in the public and private spaces are engaging in power purchase agreements, which allow participants to access incentives and stabilized prices and supply of green energy.
Despite an appealing yet temporary dip in fossil fuels, the Pentagon hopes to reduce its annual $4 billion energy bill by continuing to implement changes throughout its operation, including a remodeling of the headquarters as well as their own wind farms and solar arrays with a projected capacity of 3 gigawatts before 2025. Photovoltaics are also making an appearance in efforts on-the-ground, with the introduction of solar-rechargable batteries for soldiers’ devices.
The Pentagon sees renewable energy as not just a strategic move, but a necessary one. Not only is the Obama Administration making clean power a primary objective, but the military has recognized that the environment, energy, and economic security are “inextricably” interdependent. Energy sovereignty for our armed forces also has the added benefit of avoiding cybersecurity attacks to power plants, as well as the fluctuating prices and dependency of fossil fuels.
With their costs quickly plummeting, solar, wind, and other alternative means are making clean power an increasingly appealing option for private and public users alike.