Army Enlists For Renewables
The US Department of Defense (DOD)'s targets for 1GW of renewable energy by 2025 received a boost in late August when contracts were awarded to 22 utilities for solar projects under the US$7bn 'Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production' for DoD Installations. While this is n ot entirely surprising, given that the contracts represent one of the least controversial elements of Obama's greener energy agenda, we do believe it yet again highlights the US' growing conviction towards its renewables agenda.
Under the contracts, the 22 selected companies (including a number of local subsidiaries of European firms, such as Enel Green Power North America , Acciona Energy North America Corp and Siemens Government Technologies Inc ) will compete to agree power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the US Army; providing 'reliable, locally generated, renewable and alternative energy for DoD installations'. Solar technology is the second of four renewable energy technologies (geothermal, wind and biomass) to be phased in under the programme, with geothermal contracts awarded in May.
The US Army's commitment to energy security, energy efficiency and renewable technology is clearly strengthening, in line with the Army's C ongressionally - mandated goal of achieving 25% of energy production and consumption from renewable sources by 2025. The move also brings the Army, and the wider Defense Department, closer to fulfilling the aim of having 3GW of installed renewable capacity across DOD installations by 2025 (of which 1GW will be for the US Army). Although the capacity target was first established in April 2012, the US$7bn 'Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production' scheme and the recently awarded contracts are an important and clear indication that the US government is intent on expanding its renewables industry's profile from within the government itself, and reinforce s the Obama administration's conviction towards the country's green energy agenda - something that we have been witnessing since Obama's re-election for a second term in November 2012 .
|US Renewables Powerhouse|
|Non Hydro Renewables Capacity, By Country, (MW), 2013f and US Non-Hydro Renewables Capacity, By Type (MW), 2013f and 2022f|