Have you heard of the US Army’s net zero energy program?
Well, this is a project a project that was initiated by the U.S Army in conjunction with U.s energy department-National renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that aims to increase energy security in U.S. This is going to be achieved through optimizing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. The army aims to achieve this goal through installing nine Net zero energy installation sites.
It is worth to note that if this project is successful, it will replace nearly 8% of the current energy use with renewable energy. As a matter of fact, if the army’s plan to install such plants worldwide becomes successful, it will greatly reduce the average energy consumption approximately by 25% which will therefore reduce the annual energy costs.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THIS PROJECT?
The Army’s Net Zero Initiative seeks to achieve the following goals:
1.To produce energy as they use.
2.To reduce the consumption of fresh water resources. Additionally, it seeks to return water to the water shed in order not to deplete surface and underground water resources.
3.To reduce, recover and reuse solid water streams by converting them to resource values without solid waste to fill the land.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THIS PROJECT?
Both external and internal collaboration are the cornerstone of this project. This will be chieved at three levels:
1.Monthly collaboration calls.
This is to be done by the different army organizations and other army partners for example, the defense logistics Agency and the Defense commissary agency. These calls aims to share the projects progress towards achieving its goals and objectives.
Progress review meetings.
These meetings aims to provide each pilot installation with an opportunity to discuss its progress and challenges, and other experts to share their thoughts so as to realize the goals and objectives of each pilot installation.
2.Collaboration with federal agencies.
The army also aims to collaborate with other federal agencies that offer support to the project.
3.Campaigns calling for behavior change and creating awareness.
Awareness campaigns seek to promote the efficient use of energy and water resources. Such awareness and educational efforts will be crucial in order to realize behavior change.
4. Engaging existing knowledge base and leadership buy in.
Leadership buy-in is very important to ensure senior level commitment to achieve Net zero energy, water and waste goals.
WHAT ARE THE PROGRAMS INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT?
All the programs involved in this project are striving towards net zero energy, waste, water or all three.
Some programs are focused solely on net zero energy. The following are pilot sites that focuses on this objective.
- Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area.
- Fort Detrick
- Fort Hunter Liggett
- Kwajalein Atoll
- Sierra Army Depot
- West Point
Additionally, three other sites are meant for piloting the Net Zero Initiatives. Three sites that will be involved in this are:
- Oregon Army National Guard. It pilots the net zero energy.
- Fort Bliss.
- Fort Carson.
Notably to mention, both Fort Bliss and Fort Carson will be responsible of piloting the net energy, water and waste programs
This project is really promising and will bring a big difference to many communities.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.