Pew Trust on Advanced Biofuels


Throughout its history, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has invested in new ways of harnessing energy to enhance the strength, speed, range and power of the armed forces. Until recently, the U.S. military’s innovation agenda has not placed a high premium on energy efficiency and new sources of energy and fuels. But the department’s experience conducting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the rise of new global threats and challenges have caused DoD to rethink its strategic energy posture. Special emphasis has been placed on reducing battlefield fuel demand and securing reliable, renewable energy supplies for combat and installation operations.

DoD’s major energy challenges include risks associated with transporting liquid fuels to and on the battlefield; growing oil price volatility; the impact of fuel dependence on operational effectiveness; the fragility of energy supplies for forces that must have assured power 24 hours a day; and energy laws and mandates the department must comply with.

This report details how energy innovation and clean energy can help DoD respond to these energy challenges. It also explores ways in which DoD’s commitment to energy transformation is contributing to development of new energy technologies that can serve American

consumers and commercial interests alike. Special attention is given to priority DoD initiatives in key areas of the world’s burgeoning and competitive clean energy sector: vehicle efficiency, advanced biofuels, and energy efficient and renewable energy technologies for buildings.


The emergence of the clean energy sector and increasingly competitive alternative energy sources presents DoD with opportunities for saving lives and money in the years ahead.

Energy efficiency measures help reduce fuel demand and operational risk while enhancing combat effectiveness. For example, DoD insulated 9 million square feet of temporary structures, reducing energy consumption by 77,000 gallons per day.1

Alternative fuels and renewable energy sources can be domestically produced (and locally sourced around the world) to enhance the security of energy supplies. Similarly, microgrids and “smart” energy technologies help protect DoD installations from commercial power outages… Read full report »


Filed in: Reports & Studies