The money in the bill is enough to pay for a tremendous expansion of efficiency efforts across the country. But as with other parts of the stimulus package, the efficiency plan is creating tension between spending the money quickly, to get rapid economic stimulus, and spending it well, to do the most good over the long run.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The piece you posted on Unintended Costs and Consequences got my attention. But it took my thinking in a different direction - probably the result of a few years spent at Rocky Mountain Institute. This seems an issue of bad design. Perhaps if energy efficiency (or at least the ability to power down) had been a key performance metric for the systems? At RMI, we used to say that all the really good mistakes are made on the first day - meaning that good design is key. I wonder if the types of systems described in the article could be cost-effectively retrofitted to allow even more energy savings and better performance?
Monday, February 23, 2009
“During operation Enduring Freedom, the Dragonfires of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 29 achieved the highest mission rate ever reached by S-3 aircraft–and double that of any other Navy aircraft. It did this with the second least expensive maintenance costs of any aircraft in the airwing by not completely shutting down the aircraft’s avionics and engines between sorties.”
Sunday, February 22, 2009
There are no available statistics for how much fuel savings the entire FCS fleet will achieve once it arrives. The Army estimates that an FCS heavy brigade combat team will consume 29 percent less fuel than its current counterpart, Mehney said. During a 1,864 mile mission lasting several days, a current heavy brigade combat team consumes an estimated 1.3 million gallons of fuel. But an FCS brigade would only consume 942,000 gallons, according to a simulation study conducted by Sandia National Laboratories. On a paved road, the FCS heavy tracked vehicle travels 1.66 miles per gallon. By comparison, the Abrams tank can go 0.52 miles per gallon.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Senior Shakeel Avadhany and his teammates say they can produce up to a 10 percent improvement in overall vehicle fuel efficiency by using the regenerative shock absorbers. The company that produces Humvees for the army, and is currently working on development of the next-generation version of the all-purpose vehicle, is interested enough to have loaned them a vehicle for testing purposes.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Put simply: the increasing U.S. dependence on oil imported from underdeveloped volatile regions of the world is putting a strain on our military forces and it is assigning them expensive missions for which they're really the wrong instrument of national power.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Several former DOE officials have begun questioning whether DOE should be restructured and refocused on energy tasks at hand: “These critics suggest that DOE is now being asked to take on a massive new energy policy function – the Obama administration’s and Congress’ call for a green energy transformation of the U.S. economy – and predict that it cannot perform both this major new function and its nuclear weapons-related responsibilities, which take up two-thirds of DOE’s budget.”
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This ... will be a "dramatically different" NSC from that of the Bush administration or any of its predecessors since the forum was established after World War II to advise the president on diplomatic and military matters, according to national security adviser James L. Jones, who described the changes in an interview. "The world that we live in has changed so dramatically in this decade that organizations that were created to meet a certain set of criteria no longer are terribly useful," he said.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
M2E’s technology dramatically increases the amount of power that can be generated from kinetic energy. The power is produced by using motion-produced electromagnetic fields that are harvested, converted to electrical energy and stored for use in a variety of scalable applications. The application possibilities span handheld, mobile devices to larger power requirements, such as hybrid vehicles and power systems for industrial use.These folks got their start with some pioneering physics work done with DOE at the Idaho National Lab, and with a passel of generals on their military advisory board, they are sure to find the right connections in DOD. Imagine while on patrol in Afghanistan, your own motion is generating electricity for you and saving you from having to schlep additional pounds of batteries. That would make you pretty happy, wouldn't it?
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
All new Army acquisition programs, to include new program starts and new increments, with end items that consume energy shall include the fully burdened cost of energy needed to operate the system in their total ownership cost analysis. This direction applies to all acquisition category level programs, including information systems.
Our goal is to reduce the risks associated with energy supply and demand while maintaining needed operational capabilities.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
We need to include the risk of our logistics tail to war gaming and campaign analysis per [the DSB Task Force on Energy reports] and should be doing everything we can to reduce the size of that tail (or at least make informed decisions relative to the capabilities of systems). Combine this with the likely closure of the Manas base and you have the reason why FBCF and the associated EEKPP are about capability, not merely "efficiency."Bingo. Weighting energy considerations appropriately in all aspects of DOD planning is not mainly about saving money (though it does), or limiting carbon emissions (though it will), or reducing US/DOD's dependence on foreign and finite oil (it does that too), it's first and foremost about tilting the odds in our favor ... and keeping the success and safety of our Soldiers, Marines and Airmen front and center.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
"I would describe it as very much his personal project,” said Clifford G. Gaddy, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and an expert in Russia’s energy policy. “It is the heart of what he has done from the very beginning.” Indeed, from his earliest days in power in 2000, Mr. Putin, who left the presidency in 2008 and became prime minister, decided natural resource exports and energy in particular would not only finance the country’s economic rebirth but also help restore Russia’s lost greatness after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
As they did two years ago after a similar supply disruption, European officials have promised in the wake of the Ukraine dispute to take steps to diversify the Continent’s sources of gas to end its reliance on Russia, which supplies nearly 30 percent of the total. European dependence is expected to grow as North Sea gas fields decline.So while logic would dictate a brisk move away from Russian supplies, other factors will play a bigger role, and likely keep Europe and the former Soviet Union in Russia's energy grip for the foreseeable future. Lest we feel superior, however, very similar forces have been at work between OPEC and the US for decades. Only now are we beginning to move in the right direction. Let's move quickly.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
- Possible conflicts with the wing's mission, including degradation of security in the vicinity of weapons storage area;
- Interference with existing missile transportation operations; and,
- Issues with explosive safety arcs and operational flight safety