From the US Department of Defense perspective, the mobility of renewable power really came into being with operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Batteries became a big issue because in the Middle East because in Europe especially, they were large, staid and difficult to work with in the current context. However, unlike in Europe and East Asia, sunshine is a real asset of the Middle East but the distances can be painful. Also oil may be plentiful, but the methods for extracting it are not. Rechargeable batteries, especially in Afghanistan, had major improvements over their predacessors and equipment powered by solar panels was the seen as the wave of the future as R&D was being scaled to smaller encampments. By 2005, most newer military equipment was being developed and powered with a slot for solar power.
The renewable energy question has entered the fray of late because the causes and costs of the renewable energy have dropped so fast it has made itself a question worth considering and with several major payoffs.
I became involved in renewable energy because the energy folks I worked with understood how to get renewable energy from the sun and stored into batteries, but they did not understand the environment money chain and I had limited knowledge of the Army’s current renewable energy. So I brought my knowledge to bear and we started working on how to get renewable electricity to the Army’s bases across the United States.
The publications listed below list out how the Army will match its requirements for renewable energy with how it will obtain renewable energy. It is the responsibility of the user to contact the Army for further directions.