- "Remodeling the US Government for Energy Security" by Sharon Burke and Christine Parthemore of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) (PDF here)
- Another CNAS piece: "Peak Oil: A Survey of Security Concerns" by Neil King Jr (PDF here)
- "The Fuel Gauge of National Security" by Navy Commander Jeffrey Eggers in the Armed Force Journal
- By James Russell and Daniel Moran: "The Militarization of Energy Security"
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Lithium ion batteries are anticipated to replace gasoline as the principal source of energy in future cars and military vehicles. Today, United States automobile manufacturers and defense contractors depend upon foreign suppliers — increasingly concentrated in Asia — for lithium ion battery cells.I wish these guys a lot of luck for several reasons. The full release is here.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Map Courtesy of US Congressman Roscoe Bartlett
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- Four 300Kw generators for ten un-insulated tents
- Total of 1.2MW, or an average of 120Kw per tent
- Was not enough, so two more 300Kw generators brought in for a total of 1.8MW, or an average of 180 Kw per tent
- Foam-insulated tent with permanent HVAC requires a 30Kw generator
- 75% - 83% reduction in the generator size
- Straight-line projection (approx 75% - 83% ) fuel savings
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The surface U.S. Navy will remain dependent on fossil fuels for at least the next 40 to 50 years.That's what the engineers said. And barring enormous, unexpected innovations in ship propulsion, it's probably a conservative estimate. But still, it's kind of spooky. Today's $40 oil may make it seem like a benign forecast, but the ripple effects of low oil prices make it clear that the next economic cycle will witness global economies competing for far less oil than was available when prices spiked this summer. The implications for future prices are sobering.
Monday, December 15, 2008
But actually, it began a long time ago, long before it became clear this man had a realistic chance to become President. In early 2006, almost 3 years ago, US Senator Obama gave a speech titled "Energy Security is National Security". His remarks followed right on the heals of President Bush's seemingly bold State of the Union pledge to move the US away from oil dependency, and he points to Bush's immediate (and humiliating) kowtow to OPEC when the Saudis expressed concern about his enthusiasm for alternative energy. Obama says this behavior is symptomatic of the US vulnerability. He said, "All we really need to know about the danger of our oil addiction comes directly from the mouths of our enemies:
"Oil is the umbilical cord and lifeline of the crusader community." These are the words of Al Qaeda.More than anyone else who's ascended to our highest office, Obama understands that energy is a national security issue, that "the Achilles heel of the most powerful country on Earth is the oil we cannot live without." This man will soon be the Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces, and I for one am eager to see how the DOD responds to real energy leadership.
"Focus your operations on oil, especially in Iraq and the Gulf area, since this will cause them to die off." These are the words Osama bin Laden.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Fossil fuels resemble capital in the bank. A prudent and responsible parent will use his capital sparingly in order to pass on to his children as much as possible of his inheritance. A selfish and irresponsible parent will squander it in riotous living and care not one whit how his offspring will fare.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Seventy percent of the convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan are for fuel and water. These convoys are at risk from roadside bombs and snipers. Just moving fuel entails great danger to US troops.... If we could cut the amount of convoys in half, the logistics tail would be significantly reduced. The result would be drastic improvements in the ratio of shooters-to-support personnel.
The problem with [current DOD energy strategy] is that it dictates a halt in the development of alternative technologies as soon as the price of oil falls.... This inevitable knee-jerk response to [oil price fluctuations] has got to go.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In an upcoming edition of Foreign Affairs journal, Gates has penned an article titled "A Balanced Strategy: Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age". And though energy issues are not discussed directly in the piece, Gates' vision for what the department needs to work on provides a contextual framework for energy security decisions in the coming years. His argument for balance is comprised of three main components:
"Between trying to prevail in current conflicts and preparing for other contingencies"
"Between institutionalizing capabilities such as counterinsurgency and foreign military assistance and maintaining the United States' existing conventional and strategic technological edge against other military forces", and ...
"Between retaining those cultural traits that have made the U.S. armed forces successful and shedding those that hamper their ability to do what needs to be done”
Clearly, the lack of energy efficiency as a KPP in systems requirements formulation fits best in Gates’ category 3: a trait that has hampered our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will continue to impair our capabilities in other theaters if not addressed. Ultimately, the DOD's acknowledgement in NDAA 2009 that energy issues are a major factor in systems requirements, operational effectiveness and budgeting will color each of Gates' three "balance" components. In some cases energy will limit us; in others it will present new opportunities for the US to gain the advantage. But either way, it is here to stay as a permanent part of the way we determine our priorities and options in armed conflict, and in the way DOD prepares for its next big assignments.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
- Data center efficiency (Project Big Green), including a new state-of-the-art facility in Boulder, CO (picture above)
- Smart workforce management (increasing use of remote workers via online collaboration tools)
- Intelligent transportation systems (to reduce congestion induced fuel waste)
- Smart utility grid (adding intelligence to the grid reaps big energy savings)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
- Lovins said DOD is setting the pace for the nation on energy efficiency and emissions reduction. In particular, it's embracing the concepts of negawatts and neg-emissions so troops have greater flexibility and face less exposure to hostile fire while protecting fuel in transit
- Speaking of which, he noted that DOD uses 70% of its total fuel resources on moving people, equipment ... and fuel
- He remarked that DOD used to think of price of fuel delivery was free. Since April of this year, and the NDAA 2009 (both well documented on this blog) however, the FBCF and its energy KPPs will ensure that Prime DOD contractors will be competing to see who can bring the most energy efficient solutions. And he predicted that those efficiency technologies and strategies will find their way into the commercial sector as have so many other groundbreaking military technologies before them
- When the moderator, Paul Maeder of Highland Capital Partners asked him about the effects on certain world leaders of today's lower oil prices, as well as in the future envisioned by Lovins, Lovins replied that folks like Ahmadinejad, Putin, Chavez and the Saudi's "would have to get real jobs." Much laughter ensued.
- Lovins passed around an ultra light, ultra strong carbon fiber ballistic helmet intended for military use, and noted similar materials used for auto bodies will be game changers, allowing cars to lose half their weight. Said to check out the Toyota 1X
- When asked about Obama, Lovins said he was already exerting strong energy leadership and stressed that this was going to be very helpful. And then he said Obama is going to have to restructure/repurpose the DOE
- The last thing I got to ask him was what fuel did he think would power USAF planes 10-20 years from now. At first he mentioned liquid hydrogen, but didn't seem too sure about its military utility. And then he moved on to saying maybe it'll be what we use today: JP8 from traditional sources. But suggested that if the DOD and the nation continue on the energy efficiency course on which they've embarked, it won't cost much as it will be in less demand.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
- Author of seminal 1976 article appearing in Foreign Affairs: Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?
- In 1982, founded the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in Snowmass, CO
- Author of Winning the Oil Endgame - essential reading published in 2005
- Served on the DSB Energy Task Force that published my favorite DOD energy report in Feb 2008 (see link in sidebar). Said overall it's a quality piece of work, though he would have emphasized some aspects more ... like the massive endurance benefits DOD gets via efficiency improvements
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
- Member of the Board of Directors: Chevron
- Member of the Board of Directors: Boeing
- President of Institute for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Jim is focused on the threats of today and the future. He understands the connection between energy and national security and has worked on the front lines of global instability, from Kosovo to northern Iraq to Afghanistan.
Monday, December 1, 2008
- C1 (one carbon atom fuel - methane)
- C2 (two carbon atom fuel - ethane)
- C3 (three carbon atom fuel - propane)
- C7-C10 (gasoline)
- C10-C16 (jet fuel/JP8)