The US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Defense (DOD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate clean energy innovation and enhance national energy security. The MOU covers efforts in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, fossil fuels, alternative fuels, efficient transportation technologies and fueling infrastructure, grid security, smart grid, storage, waste-to-energy, basic science research, mobile/deployable power, small modular reactor nuclear energy, and related areas.

This MOU builds on already strong cooperation between the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, and will broaden collaboration on clean energy technology research, development, and demonstration.

In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense REview, the DOD expressed an intent to partner with other US agencies to research, develop, test and evaluate new sustainable energy technologies. The DOD aims to speed innovative energy and conservation technologies from laboratories to military end users, and it uses military installations as a tet ed to demonstrate and create a market for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies coming out of DOE laboratories, among other sources.

Energy security of the DOD means having assured access to reliable supplies of energy and the ability to protect and deliver sufficient energy to meet operational and installation energy needs. Energy efficiency can serve as a force multiplier, increasing the range and endurance of forces in the field while reduce the number of combat forces diverted to protect energy supply lines, as well as reducing long-term energy costs.

DOD is also increasing its use of renewable energy supplies and reducing energy demand to improve energy security and operational effectiveness, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in support of US climate change initiatives, and protect the DOD from energy price fluctuations. Solving military challenges has the potential to yield spin-off technologies that benefit the civilian community as well.

The Department of Energy is the lead Federal agency responsible for the development and deployment of advanced energy technologies, yet the Department of Defense will need to invest in many of these same energy technologies as well as other energy technologies which may be unique to the Department of Defense’s operational requirements. Partnering with the Department of Defense provides the Department of Energy the opportunity to accelerate the deployment of its technologies and expertise to help address the economic and energy security needs of the United States and to promote scientific and technological innovation.