Clean Power From the Pentagon
The Department of Defense invests $1.6 billion a year in research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) to meet the energy needs of the U.S. warfighter, which are growing steadily as energy intensive technology increasingly permeates the battlefield. Because the DOD’s investments are highly mission-driven, many analysts have argued they are not relevant to clean energy innovation beyond the defense sector. But is that really the case?
This work seeks to enhance the understanding of DOD’s investment in energy innovation, generally, and it revisits the question of how relevant this investment is for advances in civilian clean energy innovation. We do this by examining five pathways, through which the military has influenced civilian uptake of technology in the past and identifying specific clean energy technologies that will benefit from one or more of these uptake paths. Finally, we recommend ways the Department of Energy (DOE) and other civilian entities can better leverage DOD’s RDT&E investments.
Senior Research Advisor, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Dr. Marqusee is a senior research advisor at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Prior to joining NREL he served as a Chief Scientist at Noblis, a nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization. He has over 20 years of government leadership in research, technology development, and policy aimed at making the Department of Defense (DoD) a more sustainable and effective organization. At DoD he served as the Executive Director of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program. He led the DoD’s science and technology investments in energy and environment. Before joining DoD, he worked at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Stanford University, the University of California, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.