Monday, August 24, 2009

DOD Energy Blog Interview with Amory Lovins - 5 Part Series (part 3)

Part 2 of this series dealt with the Energy Efficiency Key Performance Parameter (KPP); in part 3 responds to a question I ask him on the Fully Burdened Cost of Fuel (FBCF).

Question 3) Certain folks in the Pentagon have told me that the word "Cost" in the Fully Burdened Cost of Fuel is causing them trouble getting the concept promulgated. They say "cost" pushes the whole endeavor towards bean counters and takes it off of everyone else's plate. And that bean counters don't really know what to do with it. Your thoughts on this?  Would use of Endurance/Resilience help move the ball forward in your opinion?
Lovins: I think formal entry of the Endurance and Resilience strategic vectors into doctrine would help enormously to drive Department-wide adoption of thinking and choices consistent with them. Meanwhile, perhaps we should talk instead about "Fully Burdened Value of Fuel." Properly valuing saved fuel (like saved mass, volume, or any other parameter) lets us think straight about how efficiently to use them. Valuing saved fuel at often one (and sometimes two) orders of magnitude more than we did before makes a huge difference. When we assumed fuel logistics was free and invulnerable we had no incentive to change. Fully weighting the full value of fuel and fuel assets will result in radically more efficient and capable platforms, with extraordinary implications both for warfighting capability and for a more stable world. Think about moving away from oil dependence and climate change drivers, for example. There are some categories where less is definitely more.
Next up I challenge Lovins to draw some actionable conclusions about a recent article that got some attention on this blog: "The Pentagon's Wasting Assets" which appeared in Foreign Policy journal. Here's that post if you want to do some prep.

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