Rational Trigger for Optimism: Solar as Homeland Security

Amidst the noise, haste, and chaos of recent life there are extra constructive developments for humanity than one may assume. Everyone focuses on the disasters of the local weather disaster, and whereas these do encourage our day by day work, we additionally really feel it’s vital to focus on the hopeful – the very actual improvements pushing our clear energy motion ahead. The goal of this new column on our weblog is to discover noteworthy causes for optimism that we observe from ReVision Energy’s entrance row seat within the renewable energy area.

Renewable Energy Is Homeland Security for America

by co-founder Phil Coupe

Because fossil fuels are finite, and inhabitants development is predicted to extend world energy demand by 50% over the subsequent 30 years, might or not it’s argued that our underground reserves at the moment are America’s most precious strategic protection belongings?

photograph credit score: U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Tyler S. Giguere.

At current there are solely two doable future fossil gasoline situations: they run out, or they change into too environmentally problematic to burn (scientific consensus signifies we’ve already crossed this rubicon). Long-term nationwide energy safety, resilience, and independence can by no means be actually achieved by a technique that depends upon non-renewable assets like coal, oil, and gasoline. These assets are susceptible to provide chain disruptions, excessive climate occasions, worth volatility, and eventual depletion.

Forward-thinking protection brass have lengthy been involved concerning the U.S. Military’s over-reliance on fossil fuels as a weak hyperlink within the battlefield provide chain. In 2003, Lt. Gen. Jim Mattis (who later served as Secretary of Defense below President Trump) said that the navy “must be unleashed from the tether of fuel.” That’s as a result of Mattis noticed the casualties that resulted from lethal enemy assaults on gasoline convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army estimated that one in twenty-four gasoline convoys resulted in a U.S. casualty from 2003-2007 within the Middle East.

The Energy-Security Paradigm in 2022

The struggle towards Ukraine, mixed with Russia’s many years lengthy petro-stranglehold on western Europe, additional highlights the energy-security paradigm. As Ukraine desperately tries to fend off Russian air superiority, floor troops, and naval firepower, the unequalled energy density of aviation gasoline, diesel, and gasoline underscore how valuable these assets are to a nation’s protection. It’s almost unattainable immediately to defend airspace, borders, and the excessive seas with out liquid fuels to power fighter jets, heavy artillery, and naval ships.

Armed with this info, Americans have a possibility to vastly enhance nationwide safety by minimizing fossil gasoline use and serving to construct the renewable energy, storage, and grid infrastructure essential for a societal pivot away from coal, oil, and gasoline.

Considering all of the above, it’s believable to argue that the final nation standing with the best underground reserves will finally be the strongest on the planet.

If that’s true, then getting 100% of Americans on board with the clear energy transition is mission essential. Today’s actuality – that renewable energy is essential to nationwide safety – could be the strongest argument to persuade folks just like the Koch brothers and the fossil gasoline business itself that the U.S. is stronger when its energy assets are much less susceptible. Together we are able to pursue a protection technique that features energy independence and resilience with out burning fossil fuels besides to guard our nation and to power essential industries.

Solar array on the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, photograph credit score: Phil Coupe

Fortunately, we have already got highly effective allies within the Pentagon. Renewable energy, battery storage, warmth pumps, and electrical automobiles are being quickly deployed at U.S. Military bases throughout the nation as a result of the Department of Defense acknowledges anthropogenic local weather injury as considered one of America’s most pressing nationwide safety threats, and since fossil fuels have confirmed to be problematic within the battle theater.

Ironically, the U.S. Department of Defense is the one largest energy client on earth. The excellent news is that the DoD is presently pursuing a purpose of procuring or producing 25% renewable energy for its amenities by 2025 below a regulation signed into impact by President George W. Bush in 2007.

“We face all kinds of threats in our line of work, but few of them truly deserve to be called existential. The climate crisis does. Climate change is making the world more unsafe and we need to act,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

In a conflict-ridden world that’s anticipated to endure more and more excessive climate on account of local weather injury, nationwide protection has change into extra pressing and sophisticated. We are cautiously optimistic that an American energy transition to renewables and storage represents a possibility to carry our divided nation again collectively to attain long-term safety, independence, and resilience. And as the most important emitter of greenhouse gases over the previous 175 years, it’s additionally a possibility for the U.S. to be accountable for its out-sized destructive environmental impression on the remainder of the world.

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