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Ethiopian Government and Reykjavik Geothermal Announce 1,000 MW Geothermal Power Agreement

September 29, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Geothermal, Greentech

The Hellisheidi power plant in Iceland Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Geothermal

The Hellisheidi power plant in Iceland
Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Geothermal

In a landmark announcement, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Reykjavik Geothermal have revealed plans to develop one of the world’s largest geothermal power projects in the Corbetti area in Ethiopia. The Corbetti Geothermal Project will be Ethiopia’s first independent power project, and one of the largest in Africa.

The Government of Ethiopia and Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) today announced an agreement to build and operate up to 1,000 MW of geothermal power in two 500 MW phases. Reykjavik Geothermal, a US-Icelandic development company, has been working with the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) and various government ministries for the past two years to finalize the power purchase agreement. The first 500 MW plant will be built inside the Corbetti Caldera, which is considered one of the top geothermal resources in the world by the team of Icelandic and Ethiopian geoscientists that have studied the area. The first 10 MW of power will be online in 2015, with an additional 100 MW in 2016 and the full 500 MW to be operational by 2018.

“Africa needs to transform, and energy is at the center of that transformation,“ said His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, at this morning’s announcement in New York. “My vision is that over the next 30 years we will need to harness as much as 80,000 MW of hydro, geothermal, wind and solar power, not just for Ethiopia, but for our neighboring countries as well. This cannot be done by public investment alone; we will need to partner with the private sector to bring in significant private investment going forward. From that perspective, this 1,000 MW project with RG is not that large – but it‘s a great start. What Africa needs now is not just aid, but trade and investment.“

“We are very pleased to announce this historic agreement with Reykjavik Geothermal. This will be a significant step for EEPCO in realizing our strategic vision of being the regional leader for power generation and export in East Africa,” said Deputy Prime Minister and EEPCO Chairman, H.E. Dr. Michael Debretsion. “We believe Ethiopia has over 10,000 MW of geothermal potential which provides base load power and is a perfect complement to our over 50,000 MW of hydropower potential.”

“Our agreement with EEPCO and the Government of Ethiopia is a ground-breaking achievement. Reykjavik Geothermal will be the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Ethiopia and the Corbetti Project will be the largest single geothermal power plant ever built in Africa,” said RG Chairman, Michael Philipp. “The agreement for 1,000 MW of geothermal power, an investment of $4 billion over an 8-10 year period, confirms the confidence of international investors in the growth and stability of the Ethiopian Economy. This project is being led by US private investors and has generated significant interest from the development agencies involved with the Power Africa initiative announced by President Obama.”

“The Corbetti Project is a new model for developing large scale power projects in Africa,” said EEPCO CEO, Miheret Debebe. “The project combines the considerable expertise for electrical power generation of Ethiopia, with the geothermal technical knowledge of Iceland and the financial and structuring expertise of the United States. This project will set a new benchmark for large scale projects financed by the private sector and will help Ethiopia unleash its full energy potential.”

“The Corbetti Geothermal Project will establish Ethiopia as a leader in the global geothermal industry,” said Gudmundur Thoroddsson, CEO of Reykjavik Geothermal. “Ethiopia has some of the best high temperature geothermal resources anywhere, and the Corbetti Project will be one of the lowest cost and most technologically advanced geothermal facilities in the world. Our goal is to transfer geothermal knowledge and expertise from Iceland to build a long term geothermal industry in Ethiopia.”

“This historic agreement for Ethiopia is a fitting tribute on the first anniversary of the passing of visionary leader H.E. Meles Zenawi,” said Nejib Abba Biya, Chairman of Rift Valley Geothermal, the Ethiopian partner of Reykjavik Geothermal. “The late Prime Minister was Africa’s spokesman at Global Climate Change conferences and an unflinching advocate for clean and renewable energy.”

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in the north-eastern part of Africa commonly known as the Horn of Africa. It is strategically proximate to the Middle East and Europe, together with its easy access to the major ports of the region, enhances its international trade. It is bordered by the Sudan in the west, Somalia and Djibouti in the east, Eritrea in the north and Kenya in the south. The country covers 1,112,000 square kilometers (472,000 sq. miles) making it roughly as large as France and Spain combined. With over 91 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa. The World Bank estimates GDP growth of approximately 8% over the next five years, after almost a decade of double digit GDP growth.

Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation

The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) as public utility enterprise was established in 1948 for indefinite duration by regulation No. 18/1997, and conferred with the powers and duties of the previous Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority. The purpose of the corporation is to engage in the business of producing, transmitting, distributing and selling electrical energy in accordance with economic and social development policies and priorities of the government and to carry out any other related activities that would enable it achieve its purpose.

Reykjavik Geothermal

Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) is a geothermal development company founded in 2008. The Company is focused on the development of high enthalpy geothermal resources for utility scale power production. RG specifically identifies and targets locations where quality geothermal resources can be efficiently harnessed to meet the local demand for power and clean dependable energy. RG was founded in Iceland by a proven team of experienced geothermal experts. RG management has been involved in geothermal exploration and development in over 30 countries including spearheading the development of one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi, Iceland.

This article is a repost, credit: Reykjavik Geothermal.

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U.S. Geothermal Inc. and Enbridge Inc. Host FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff at Ribbon Cutting of Oregon’s First Commercial Geothermal Power Plant

September 6, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Geothermal, Greentech

VALE, OREGON-(Marketwired – Sept. 6, 2013) – U.S. Geothermal Inc. (NYSE MKT:HTM)(TSX:GTH) and Enbridge Inc. (NYSE:ENB)(TSX:ENB) today will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the first commercial geothermal power plant to be built in the State of Oregon. The Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Plant located near Vale, Oregon, was developed by U.S. Geothermal, a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production, and sale of electricity from geothermal energy. Enbridge, a North American leader in delivering energy and one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, is an equity partner in the venture.

FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff Photo courtesy of FERC

FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff
Photo courtesy of FERC

FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Douglas Schultz, Director of Origination for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO), along with other national, state, and county government officials, were on hand to participate in the event. Chairman Wellinghoff was previously a member of U.S. Geothermal’s Board of Directors prior to accepting his FERC commission, and was on the Board at the time development of the project was first undertaken. Mr. Schultz leads the LPO’s lending activities focused on innovative alternative energy projects in the United States including solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, clean fossil, nuclear, and the related transmission and extraction infrastructure.

The Neal Hot Springs Project was the first geothermal project to obtain a loan guarantee under the DOE’s Title XVII loan guarantee program, which was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to support the deployment of innovative clean energy technologies. The Neal Hot Springs deployed the first of its kind binary cycle process, utilizing a supercritical cycle that uses R134a refrigerant as the working fluid, an innovative air-cooled condenser, as well as pre-fabricated modular construction of major plant components.

“We are extremely pleased to be honored with such distinguished guests at our grand opening celebration for our Neal Hot Springs project. We are very excited to unveil not only U.S. Geothermal’s first power plant in Oregon, but also the first commercial geothermal power plant in the State,” said Mr. Dennis Gilles, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Geothermal Inc. “The completion of this historic renewable energy plant marks an important step in expanding the contribution of geothermal energy in the United States to help meet our country’s effort to become more energy independent.”

“As an energy delivery company, Enbridge is proud of its growing list of renewable and alternative energy technology projects,” said Chuck Szmurlo, Vice President, Alternative and Emerging Technology, Enbridge Inc. “Over the past few years we’ve invested more than three billion dollars in a variety of green power projects, creating a strong base of assets which now includes investments in 12 wind farms and four solar facilities with a capacity to generate over 1,700 MW of emissions free energy.”

“Geothermal energy is a natural progression for Enbridge’s renewable energy portfolio. As owners and operators of solar and wind projects, we understand that in order for renewable energy to become a larger part of the electricity system, we need to deal with the intermittent nature of the source – the sun isn’t always shining and the wind doesn’t blow all the time, but the heat of the earth is constant and not intermittent,” Szmurlo added.

About U.S. Geothermal Inc.

U.S. Geothermal Inc. is a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy and is operating geothermal power projects at Raft River, Idaho, San Emidio, Nevada and Neal Hot Springs, Oregon. The company is developing El Ceibillo, an advanced stage, steam geothermal prospect located within a 24,710 acre (100sq km) energy rights concession area located 8.5 miles (14 km) from Guatemala City, the largest city in Central America.

The information provided in this news release may contain forward-looking statements within the definition of the Safe Harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on U.S. Geothermal Inc.’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those described, including but not limited to, the results from the exploration, production and injection well drilling at El Ceibillo. Readers are cautioned to review the risk factors identified by the company in its filings with Canadian and US securities agencies. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations, beliefs and opinions on the date the statements are made. U.S. Geothermal Inc. assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if management’s expectations, beliefs, or opinions, or other factors, should change.

The NYSE MKT and the TSX do not accept responsibility for the adequacy of this release.

About Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc., a Canadian Company, is a North American leader in delivering energy and has been included on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world’s longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has a significant and growing involvement in the natural gas gathering transmission and midstream businesses, and an increasing involvement in power transmission. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada’s largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. As a generator of energy, Enbridge has interests in over 1,600 megawatts of renewable and alternative energy generating capacity and is expanding its interests in wind, solar and geothermal energy. Enbridge employs more than 10,000 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S., and is ranked as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and one of the Top 100 Companies to Work for in Canada. Enbridge’s common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit None of the information contained in, or connected to, Enbridge’s website is incorporated in or otherwise part of this news release.

This article is a repost, credit: Enbridge,

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BLM Signs Record of Decision for Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project, Source: BLM

August 18, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Geothermal, Greentech

Photo of Existing Geothermal Facility near Mammoth Lakes, CA Photo courtesy of BLM

Photo of Existing Geothermal Facility near Mammoth Lakes, CA
Photo courtesy of BLM

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service Inyo National Forest today (8-13-13) signed the Record of Decision approving a new 40-megawatt geothermal project near Mammoth Lakes in Mono County. Under the terms of the Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report, the Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project will be built on lands administered by the Inyo National Forest and on private lands within four existing federal geothermal leases. The project will include construction of a new geothermal power plant, up to 16 new production and injection wells, multiple pipelines and an electric transmission line.

Ormat Nevada Inc. will develop the project on public and private land, and the project will generate more than 180 construction jobs.  When completed, the project would produce enough energy to power 36,000 homes.

BLM’s review of the project began with scoping meetings in 2011, and no changes were made to the Final EIS/EIR released in July 2013. The document was jointly prepared by the BLM, Inyo National Forest, and Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The cooperating agencies identified Alternative 3, the Modified Pipeline Alternative, as the “Agency Preferred” alternative in the final environmental document because of its reduced environmental impacts relative to the applicant’s original proposed action.

The agencies will issue separate decisions, as described in the Final EIS/EIR. The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is expected to adopt a resolution certifying the Final EIR later this summer.

“In approving the Casa Diablo geothermal project, BLM is helping advance California’s goal of the state generating one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and to bring desirable jobs to the Eastern Sierra region,” said BLM Bishop Field Office Manager Steve Nelson. Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta said, “Release of the Record of Decision for the Casa Diablo project is the culmination of an outstanding cooperative interagency effort that involved extensive public involvement and participation.”

Electronic copies of the BLM and Inyo National Forest decisions for the CD-IV Project are available on the internet at and CD-ROM versions or hard copies may be obtained by visiting or contacting the BLM Bishop Field Office or the Inyo National Forest at 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop, CA 93514. Copies will also be available at the Mono County Library at 400 Sierra Park Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.

For more information or to get a copy of the BLM document, contact Collin Reinhardt at (760) 872-5024 or email [email protected]. For more information or to get a copy of the Inyo Nation Forest document, contact Sarah Tomsky at (760) 647-3033 or email [email protected].

This article is a repost, credit: Bureau of Land Management,

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Geothermal Heat Pumps Will Surpass $17 Billion in Annual Revenue by 2020

July 18, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Geothermal, Greentech, Research

A geothermal power plant at The Geysers near Santa Rosa, California. The USGS researches and assesses geothermal resources. Photographer: Julie Donnelly-Nolan , U.S. Geological Survey  Courtesy of USGS

A geothermal power plant at The Geysers near Santa Rosa, California. The USGS researches and assesses geothermal resources.
Photographer: Julie Donnelly-Nolan , U.S. Geological Survey
Courtesy of USGS

Geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems – sometimes referred to as ground source heat pumps – are a growing part of the worldwide movement toward using renewable energy sources for building heating and cooling.  Harnessing moderate and constant temperatures just below the Earth’s surface, GHP systems play a vital role in global strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the burden on overtaxed infrastructure.  First used in the 1940s, GHP systems are being deployed in nearly every region of the world and in residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial environments with great success.  According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from GHP systems will grow from $6.5 billion in 2013 to $17.2 billion annually by 2020.

“The global economic downturn, which slowed construction, reduced government investments in cleantech products, and limited the ability of developers to acquire capital for high-end construction products, has taken a toll on manufacturers of GHP products,” says Mackinnon Lawrence, principal research analyst with Navigant Research.  “However, the market stands to experience strong growth in the coming years, as government policies create incentives for the use of energy efficiency resources and manufacturers reduce the upfront cost of GHP installations.”

Although GHPs rely on electricity to run, they are considerably more efficient at heating and cooling than air-source conditioners and other traditional HVAC competitor solutions.  While they do not directly displace fossil-based energy generation, GHP systems can reduce the dependence on fossil fuel-generating sources by a factor of up to 71 percent.  Used on their own, GHPs are capable of delivering large reductions in energy use and peak demand in buildings.  They offer even greater benefits when used in conjunction with clean energy generation and whole building efficiency.

The report, “Geothermal Heat Pumps”, analyzes the global market opportunity for geothermal heat pumps, including a comprehensive examination of GHP markets, demand drivers, existing and emerging technologies, the public policy and regulatory environment, and key industry players.  Market forecasts, segmented by geography and market segment, extend through 2020 and include examinations of market dynamics in all key regions worldwide.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

This article is a repost, credit: Navigant Research,

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Renewables to surpass gas by 2016 in the global power mix, Source: IEA

June 27, 2013 in Environment, Greentech, IEA

An Astronaut's View from Station A view of Earth as seen from the Cupola on the Earth-facing side of the International Space Station. Visible in the top left foreground is a Russian Soyuz crew capsule. In the lower right corner, a solar array panel can be seen. This photo was taken from the ISS on June 12, 2013. Image Credit: NASA

An Astronaut’s View from Station
A view of Earth as seen from the Cupola on the Earth-facing side of the International Space Station. Visible in the top left foreground is a Russian Soyuz crew capsule. In the lower right corner, a solar array panel can be seen.
This photo was taken from the ISS on June 12, 2013.
Image Credit: NASA

IEA report sees renewable power increasingly cost-competitive with new fossil-fuel generation, but agency warns against complacency (26 June 2013).

Power generation from hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources worldwide will exceed that from gas and be twice that from nuclear by 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today in its second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report (MTRMR).

According to the MTRMR, despite a difficult economic context, renewable power is expected to increase by 40% in the next five years. Renewables are now the fastest-growing power generation sector and will make up almost a quarter of the global power mix by 2018, up from an estimated 20% in 2011. The share of non-hydro sources such as wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal in total power generation will double, reaching 8% by 2018, up from 4% in 2011 and just 2% in 2006.

“As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven as she presented the report at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York. “This is good news for a global energy system that needs to become cleaner and more diversified, but it should not be an excuse for government complacency, especially among OECD countries.”

Even as the role of renewables increases across all sectors, the MTRMR cautions that renewable development is becoming more complex and faces challenges – especially in the policy arena. In several European countries with stagnating economies and energy demand, debate about the costs of renewable support policies is mounting. In addressing these issues, Ms. Van der Hoeven warned that “policy uncertainty is public enemy number one” for investors: “Many renewables no longer require high economic incentives. But they do still need long-term policies that provide a predictable and reliable market and regulatory framework compatible with societal goals,” she stated. “And worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels remain six times higher than economic incentives for renewables.”

The forecasts in the report build on the impressive growth registered in 2012, when global renewable generation rose by over 8% despite a challenging investment, policy and industry context in some areas. In absolute terms, global renewable generation in 2012 – at 4 860 TWh – exceeded the total estimated electricity consumption of China.

Two main factors are driving the positive outlook for renewable power generation. First, investment and deployment are accelerating in emerging markets, where renewables help to address fast-rising electricity demand, energy diversification needs and local pollution concerns while contributing to climate change mitigation. Led by China, non-OECD countries are expected to account for two-thirds of the global increase in renewable power generation between now and 2018. Such rapid deployment is expected to more than compensate for slower growth and smooth out volatility in other areas, notably Europe and the US.

Second, in addition to the well-established competitiveness of hydropower, geothermal and bioenergy, renewables are becoming cost-competitive in a wider set of circumstances. For example, wind competes well with new fossil-fuel power plants in several markets, including Brazil, Turkey and New Zealand. Solar is attractive in markets with high peak prices for electricity, for instance, those resulting from oil-fired generation. Decentralised solar photovoltaic generation costs can be lower than retail electricity prices in a number of countries.

The MTRMR also sees gains for biofuels in transport and for renewable sources for heat, though at somewhat slower growth rates than renewable electricity. Biofuels output, adjusted for energy content, should account for nearly 4% of global oil demand for road transport in 2018, up from 3% in 2012. But advanced biofuels growth is proceeding only slowly.

As a portion of final energy consumption for heat, renewable sources, excluding traditional biomass, should rise to almost 10% in 2018, from over 8% in 2011. But the potential of renewable heat remains largely unexploited.

  • To read Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven’s comments at the report’s launch, please click here.
  • To see the slides from the report’s launch, please click here.

The MTRMR is part of a series of medium-term forecasts that the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources – oil, gas, coal and renewable energy – and, starting this year, energy efficiency. This approach allows the IEA to look in detail at each market while taking into account the whole energy system and the relationships between the various energy sources.

About the IEA

The International Energy Agency is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. Founded in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis, the IEA’s initial role was to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks to the markets. While this continues to be a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing reliable and unbiased research, statistics, analysis and recommendations.

This article is a repost, credit: International Energy Agency,,39156,en.html.

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North America and Asia Pacific Lead the Market for Geothermal Power, With a Combined 56 Projects in Final Stages of Development

June 8, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Geothermal, Greentech, Research

Conventional geothermal power exploits naturally occurring pockets of steam or hot water close to the Earth’s surface to generate electricity.  Because such conditions are rare, the majority of today’s geothermal power projects are located in areas where such anomalies are most likely to be present.  According to a recent report from Navigant Research, North America and Asia Pacific lead the world in terms of geothermal power projects in the final stages of development, with 56 reported projects in either active drilling or construction stages.  Nearly all of these projects are in the United States, the Philippines, and Indonesia, the top three countries in installed geothermal power production capacity globally, the study concludes.

“More than 4 gigawatts (GW) of geothermal power capacity are expected to come online worldwide between 2013 and 2018,” says Mackinnon Lawrence, principal research analyst with Navigant Research.  “This total includes only projects in advanced stages of development.  A significant, though mostly unconfirmed, amount of capacity remains locked up in early-stage projects, some of which are likely to be cancelled before completion.  As a number of these projects are further developed and their resource potential confirmed, the long-term pipeline – 2017 and later – is expected to expand proportionally.”

Although North America leads all regions with the largest number of projects in the pipeline, Asia Pacific has the most reported capacity under development.  Located in areas of high seismic and volcanic activity, the island nations of Indonesia and the Philippines account for 63 percent of reported projects across the Asia Pacific region, according to the report.  A reported 7.4 GW is currently in the pipeline in Asia Pacific, representing 40 percent of the global capacity under development.  Latin America and Africa account for a combined 3.8 GW of additional capacity under development equal to 20 percent of the global pipeline.

The report, “Geothermal Power Projects”, includes a database covering geothermal power projects targeting hydrothermal, enhanced geothermal systems, and co-production resources.  The database lists projects by geographic region and provides key metrics on development stage, resource temperature characteristics, expected project completion date, and total capacity.  The goal of this database is to provide the most up-to-date summary of geothermal power projects available globally.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Geothermal Power Projects,” is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

This article is a repost, credit: Navigant Research:

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A Stronger and Sustainable Military for the 21st Century, Source: The White House

May 18, 2013 in Environment, EV News

President Barack Obama thanked American troops in declaring May 18, 2013, as Armed Forces Day, adding that words and ceremonies are not enough to honor them and their families who serve alongside them. "Whenever our liberties have come under assault, our service members have responded with resolve," Obama said. DOD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad McNeeley Photo courtesy of DOD

President Barack Obama thanked American troops in declaring May 18, 2013, as Armed Forces Day, adding that words and ceremonies are not enough to honor them and their families who serve alongside them. “Whenever our liberties have come under assault, our service members have responded with resolve,” Obama said. DOD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad McNeeley
Photo courtesy of DOD

As the single largest consumer of energy in the United States, the Department of Defense (DOD) knows that improving efficiency and harnessing new energy technologies is imperative – not only to achieve significant cost savings, but to give our troops better energy options on the battlefield, at sea, in the air, and at home.

At DOD’s fixed installations alone – including, barracks, offices, and hospitals – energy bills come in around $4 billion each year. Given this large footprint as well as the importance of safe, secure, and affordable energy sources to mission readiness, the Department has made one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, by developing a goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal – on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes.

When it comes specifically to solar power, a new report today from the Solar Energy Industries Association underscores the progress that DOD is making towards its goals.

“Enlisting the Sun: Powering the U.S. Military with Solar Energy” highlights solar energy’s growing role in powering military installations and military homes across America. According to the report, as of early 2013, there are more than 130 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems powering Navy, Army, and Air Force bases in at least 31 states and the District of Columbia. Combined, these installations provide enough clean energy to power more than 20,000 American homes.

Beyond the direct benefits to our military, DOD’s investments in clean energy benefit the country as a whole, by catalyzing private sector investment to more quickly commercialize advanced technologies for a variety of commercial applications.

In his first term, President Obama made the largest investment in clean energy in our history, which enabled the United States to double its use of renewable energy from wind, solar, and geothermal sources, and create tens of thousands of jobs across the country. During the same period, the cost of solar modules has fallen by more than 400%, helping the solar industry achieve its best year in the United States in 2012.

Moving forward, as the military continues to adopt clean energy technologies and lead by example, President Obama believes the United States as a whole must do the same. In fact, by supporting proven clean energy tax incentives and funding basic research and development, we can double renewable generation from wind, solar, and geothermal again by the end of the decade. These policies will help advance our energy security, respond to the threat of climate change, and compete for the jobs of the 21st century.

This article is a repost, credit: The White House Blog, Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change,