Renewable Energy to be a Major Investment Priority for Military Agencies during the Next 20 Years

June 13, 2011

Increased access to clean and reliable energy has become a leading priority for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and military agencies around the world, both as a means of improving energy independence as well as for purposes of increasing the efficiency and performance of all aspects of operations across multiple domains including base and facility operations, transport, and portable soldier power.  The various composite branches of the DOD, as an organization, combine to form the single largest consumer of energy in the world – more than any other public or private entity and greater than more than 100 other nations.  Energy consumption is the lifeblood of the U.S. military – and the supporting governmental infrastructure that facilitates and controls it.

According to a new report from Pike Research, global military agencies’ spending on renewable energy technologies will continue to rise rapidly over the next two decades, growing from $1.8 billion per year in 2010 to $26.8 billion by 2030.  The majority of this spending will be for Mobility applications including portable soldier power as well as land, air, and sea vehicles.  Energy for Facilities operations will represent a significant portion of the market, as well.

“Military investment in renewable energy and related technologies, in many cases, holds the potential to bridge the ‘valley of death’ that lies between research & development and full commercialization of these technologies,” says Pike Research president Clint Wheelock.  “As such, the myriad of military initiatives focused on fostering cleantech is anticipated to have a substantial impact on the development of the industry as a whole.  This presents a sizable market opportunity for defense contractors, project developers and systems integrators, and technology developers across all renewable energy sectors.”

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that in the Facilities domain, the market opportunity is largest for solar energy, followed by wind power and geothermal.  Military agencies are also utilizing microgrids for distributed energy generation that can be “islanded” from the commercial power grid, and are ardent adopters of energy efficiency techniques.  In the Mobility domain, much of the focus is on biofuels and synfuels that can serve as replacements for petrofuels for vehicles ranging from tactical vehicles, trucks, and tanks to fighter jets and naval vessels.  Portable soldier power is also a major priority, and the DOD in particular is pursuing a variety of fuel cells and advanced battery technologies in this area.

Pike Research’s report, “Renewable Energy for Military Applications”, provides a comprehensive examination of military applications for renewable energy and related clean technologies including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydrokinetic energy, biofuels and synfuels, fuel cells, microgrids, smart meters, and energy efficiency, among others.  The study analyzes the economics and performance characteristics of emerging energy technologies across a host of application areas within the facilities, transport, and portable power domains.  It includes detailed profiles of key industry players and provides detailed market forecasts through 2030.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.  The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.  For more information, visit or call +1.303.997.7609.

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