In a report by the Military Times, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Drew Sloan said greater energy efficiency can save lives. A high dependency on diesel fuel leaves soldiers dependent on this energy source to power everything from base generators that make cooking meals possible to combat vehicles used to travel in dangerous areas. That means soldiers are on the hook when it comes to obtaining oil, and a loss or reduction of supply can leave servicemembers stranded and poorly equipped defensively.

Traveling in dangerous convoys
Sloan also told reporters for the Military Times that convoys that transport these fuels are largely susceptible to attacks by insurgents, and greater access to renewable energy sources could lessen risks and increase independence. 

"When you create a culture change and behavioral change in which people use their resources more productively, you take convoys off the road," Sloan said. "You lessen soldiers exposure to ambushes and [improvised explosive devices]. When you use renewable resources, you do the exact same thing."

According to Sloan, replacing just diesel generators with arrays of solar panels means less need for fuels transported by convoys and eliminates the necessity for fuel powering those convoys. According to the Department of Defense, roughly 3,000 army personnel and contractors were killed or injured during convoy attacks between 2003 and 2007.

Military green initiatives
The Associated Press reported in 2012 that the U.S. military plans to generate enough energy from renewable sources on military bases to equal the energy output of three nuclear plants by 2025. Of that, armed forces planned to announce a goal of generating 3 gigawatts of energy on Air Force, Navy and Army bases using renewable sources. According to the Department of Defense, petroleum-based liquid fuels accounted for over 70 percent of the group's total energy usage in 2010. Everything from ground vehicles and aircrafts to base generators uses a form of fossil fuel, but the military intends to change that.

Recently, the AP reported that Purdue University will be working in conjunction with the U.S. Navy to discover better ways of using alternative power sources. It is all part of a green energy initiative that hopes to convert half of the Navy and Marine Corps' energy to alternative sources by 2020. The military and Purdue University plan to meet that goal using increased levels of biofuel, energy conservation methods and technological innovations.

Recently, the Military Times reported that the Department of Defense has announced several plans to further increase renewable energy use and energy efficiency by 2025. Devices such as solar cells, electric combat vehicles, solar blankets and solar panels are being field tested by soldiers every day to discover ways to reduce dependency on oil and other fossil fuels. 

The AP reported in 2012 that roughly 90 percent of the energy used by the federal government goes to military efforts. That equates to roughly 2 percent of the entire country's energy usage. Increasing renewable energy usage can save lives, and it can also reduce military spending.