The U.S. Army is spending billions of dollars shifting toward solar energy, recycled water and better-insulated tents. The effort isn’t about saving the Earth.
Instead, commanders have found they can save lives through energy conservation. It’s especially true in Afghanistan, where protecting fuel convoys is one of the most dangerous jobs, with one casualty for every 24 missions in some years.
With renewable energy, “there is no supply chain vulnerability, there are no commodity costs and there’s a lower chance of disruption,” Richard Kidd, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army in charge of energy security, said in an interview. “A fuel tanker can be shot at and blown up. The sun’s rays will still be there.”