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Abstract

The United States Department of Defense stands as the world’s single largest consumer of energy—domestic consumption alone by the Department amounts to nearly one percent of the United States’ total energy consumption and nearly eighty percent of the energy consumed by the Federal Government. Although a cadre of statutes, Executive Orders, and agency priorities set high goals for the introduction of renewable energy into the Department’s portfolio, it has historically failed to meet both its target for reducing facility energy use and its target for renewables integration. This Note suggests moving the Department’s energy production “behind the fence,” fixing technology to place to increase security and reduce environmental and economic impacts. To do so, however, a mountain of challenges will have to be overcome, including federal permitting restrictions on new energy projects, high capital costs for increased generation, a number of technological challenges with emerging renewable energy sources, and the existing contracts with traditional energy producers. Ultimately, a comprehensive and expansive initiative that couples site-specific technologies with agency-wide coordination will help the Department both meet its statutorily mandated targets for energy efficiency and production and also effect positive change in the environmental impact of our nation’s single largest energy consumer.

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