The U.S. military has become one of the biggest buyers of cutting-edge renewable energy technology, according to an article in CNNMoney.
The main impetus behind going green for the military is reducing the fuel loads convoys must haul into warzones. An Army study noted that between 2003 and 2007, one in eight Army casualties in Iraq came from protecting fuel convoys.
Another reason the military is interested in green technologies: With renewal energy, soldiers could fan out into remote areas to set up base in places that fuel convoys could not easily reach. Soldiers would also be able to move more quickly if batteries do not weigh them down.
For start-ups, and companies researching and developing clean energy technologies, the military is a critical customer. The Pentagon’s business encourages other private investment and supports the products until they become commercially viable — much like GPS technology in the previous generation, according to the article.
Here are some of the products now being developed or tested, according to CNNMoney:
Venture capital firms, meanwhile, view the military’s use of new energy technologies as an early endorsement. “The military is a great reference customer,” Alan Salzman, co-founder and CEO of VantagePoint Capital Partners, told CNNMoney. “Just as good as any Fortune 100 company.”