Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where Do We Go From Here? 2010 Energy Report and Media Outreach

Tremendous week, last week, for Army and Air Force energy offices with media and bloggers. I make the distinction between what bloggers do and what the media does because it is important to draw that line between journalists and the unwashed masses in the streets. We expect higher standards, more facts and less opinion from reporters. Glad I am not one of those; way too hard!

Back to the media blitz. This past Wednesday, DASAF, Energy Dr. Kevin Geiss, provided an update on what the AF has planned and accomplished over the past several months, as well as they were in reaching the various goals, mandates and executive orders under which they labor. The answer was: Dang Close.

The recently released DOD Annual Energy Management Report for 2010 ranked all the Services in the categories of energy reduction and production of renewable energy. By the end of 2010, all Services were to have reduced their energy use by 3% a year from a 2003 baseline or 15% by EOY 2010. The results for 2010: AF-14.9% , Navy – 13.7% and Army – 8.7%. (top chart)

For production of renewable energy, the goal was 5% by 2010. The winner is…… AF at 6.4% with the Army and Navy have yet to reach the 2007 goal of 3%. (bottom chart)

The Air Force bought a lot of Renewable Energy Certificates (3.3%) which helped it achieve the goal; otherwise they would have been around the 3% mark. The performance of the other Services prevented the DOD from reaching the 5% goal. So, what are the implications and ramifications of missing the mark? There do not appear to be any. I wonder if Congress will start trimming the budget to reflect where the Services should be?

The Army followed the Air Force roundtable with their own, to announce the first day of work for the Energy Initiatives Office Task Force. This is the Office (Task Force?) about which the SecArmy announce the formation at GovEnergy some weeks ago. I guess the stationary arrived. The job of the Task Force (Office?) is to provide expertise to installations for larger renewable energy projects. The Army is looking for $7.1 Billion in investment over the next ten years to put them into position to achieve 25% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025 (Sec 2911(e) of Title 10 U.S.C.). Their motto is “We have the land and the demand”. Hopefully, they will be taking on the stalled Fort Irwin 500 MW Solar project and put the hard lessons learned from that apparent slow motion train wreck.

Fortunately, they have a little time to get it together. Here in late September, there are no large scale renewable energy projects for the Army that are in the proposal stage. Lots of information being sought, but no proposal. In a post at the beginning of the year, we said that DOD would have to add 1.5% of its total energy use (after energy reductions) to make its goals. It appears that this year has been about making plans and strategies and setting up offices. Speaking on behalf of industry, we are ready to rock. DOD….ready when you are! Dan Nolan


HancockBS said...

One minor correction; the 3% renewable energy goal is for consumption, not production. The Navy leads the charge in production due to the China Lake Coso geothermal plant. It is not consumption because the power is sent to the grid. Those pesky little facts cause problems sometimes :-)

crf6adv said...

Wonderful! you are so right and I needed to hear this.

Anonymous said...

Only .7 percent of the country's energy comes from renewables. Dod wants how much?

Renewables are the most expensive and least efficient form on energy possible on an industrial scale. The Army and Air Force in flagging budgets have no interest in bearing this cost and neither will the private sector.

(Consequently, when the denziens of this country are stuck with bills stemming from misguided state mandated renewable portfolio standards there will be some major issues for politicos)

The Dod's confusing statements about security and sustainability are misguided. Security/Sustainability and profits do not intersect on any prviate side model (without subsedies, loan guarantees, tax incentives, relaxed entitilement etc) Solyndra anybody?

Only congress will be able to make this dream a reality through relaxing NEPA standards (Not likely), funding interconnection and new transmission and subsidizing the extrodinary cost of renewables to be sold to the private market.

Furthermore, the Dod has weak authority to execute and PPAs or leases or "Energy Savigns Performance Contracts" that would meet these goals. (BTW- How would and ESPC "SAVE" money with renwables?) and general confusion about the REC markets.

This does not even take into account the OMB/CBO scoring issues any/all of these contracts will attract.

A task force as noble as it may be will be no more effective than any of the exisitng bureas that currently govern these projects.

They are no better served to answer the challenges presented to them or create a reasonble value proposition to the private sector that will sustain a scale production project.

Todays Task Force serves as feel good press item and will be tomorrows scape goats during the presidential elections.

Aaron A. said...

It would be interesting to see a similar graph as the top one, but with total cost as the driver instead of use.