Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DOD and DOE Pledge Tighter Teaming on Energy

I've met DOE folks knowledgeable about DOD energy efforts in the past (certainly this is the case with renewables, microgrid and energy efficiency activities at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar). And conversely, know young DODers with some DOE/NREL time under their belts. Those interactions have proven fruitful, because now the two biggest players in USG energy are formalizing their intentions to work as a team on energy on multiple levels, and across the entire portfolio of energy issues:
... Signed by Deputy Secretary Poneman and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, [the Memorandum of Understanding or MOU] covers efforts in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, fossil fuels, alternative fuels, efficient transportation technologies and fueling infrastructure, grid security, smart grid, storage, waste-to-energy, basic science research, mobile/deployable power, small modular reactor nuclear energy, and related areas.
In particular, seems like the on-base nuclear notion is still going strong, especially given the fact that regulatory factors are discussed, not just technical:
Collaboration will include NRC review and licensing of nuclear power plants that are deployed for DOD purposes, and are located on or adjacent to DOD US installations.
The DOD also offers up one of its biggest assets for this effort - its CONUS bases:
The Department of Defense aims to speed innovative energy and conservation technologies from laboratories to military end users, and it uses military installations as a test bed to demonstrate and create a market for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
To me, the ability to use our many hundreds of bases, each a small-to-medium sized town, as energy and energy efficiency technology and process labs is a huge win. But then again, I don't live on a base anymore.

Partnership announcements in the business world are often more about marketing than substance. But we've been seeing them with uncommon frequency around energy matters in the normally tightly siloed Federal government recently (see post on USN and USDA pairing announcement, here). Let's hope the sum of the parts helps all orgs involved go further/faster than was previously possible.

Wonder Twins image courtesy of Wikipedia

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