Monday, April 22, 2013

The Energy Future on which so much Depends for DOD ... and Everyone Else

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This chart, created by energy futurist Dr. Eric Martinot depicts predictions of the global rate of renewables deployment with the different slopes representing faster and slower rates of adoption.

I had the good fortune of catching Eric's presentation last week at MIT and was thinking how DOD energy planners would benefit from exposure to his work.

So much depends on how this plays out, you know?  National security, global economics, US economics, climate change / severe weather factors, DOD missions and DOD energy assurance. Not a list to be sneezed at.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Walmart Signals the Way Forward for Facilities Energy: Lessons for DOD Installation Energy?

Walmart was mentioned prominently in the 2008 Defense Science Board (DSB) report on Energy. Considered an energy management exemplar at the time, many of the giant company's best practices have been promoted as DOD objectives since that time.

Here's how the DSB worded it 5 years ago:
The Task Force was struck by the contrast between the energy demand data collected by DOD and that collected by another very large energy consuming entity – Wal-Mart. If a single freezer cabinet door remains open too long at an individual store, an alarm is triggered at Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, AR. Wal-Mart uses detailed demand and consumption data to inform corporate wide decisions that affect energy demand including capital investments, maintenance policies and operational procedures.
We've clearly made progress since then, but Walmart is now upping the ante with its recent announcement of very  aggressive new energy efficiency and self-sufficiency goals. As reported by Energy modernization expert Jesse Berst from a Walmart press release:

CEO Mike Duke [said] the company intends to:
  • Produce or procure 7 billion KWh of renewable energy every year (up 600% from 2010 levels) 
  • Reduce the energy intensity of its buildings by 20% compared to 2010 levels
  • Install solar on at least 1,000 rooftops by 2020 (it has 200 in place or in development now)
  • Increase LED usage indoors and outdoors
  • Be supplied 100% by renewable energy by 2020
Holy smokes.  And there's no reason to believe Walmart won't hit these targets.

Now questions for you: should the DOD try to keep pace?  Can it?  You can see the full article HERE.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DoD: Know Your (Likely) Energy Secretary

I first met Ernie Moniz several years ago in his position as head of the new MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) pronounced MIGHTY. Well, looks like MITEI's going to need a new leader soon, because if all goes well for Moniz, and so far it has, he's going to be approved as the next US Secretary of Energy.

As this GTM article reveals, Moniz is in the "pursue everything" camp when it comes to energy security.  This tends to aggravate almost everyone, but speaking on behalf of DEB co-blogger Dan Nolan, and thinking from a DoD context, we like it.

On a personal note, Ernie and I live in the same town just outside downtown Boston, and our paths have crossed during dog-walking duties. Though it's separate from MITEI, as a member of the most excellent MIT Energy Club, I've benefitted from the passion for energy and culture change Moniz has instilled across the campus. Believe he will be a largely positive force for energy thinking going forward, including coordination with and support of DoD initiatives.

Photo credit: MIT Alumni on