October 12, 2010

The Army is Energized on Energy Security

There was nothing too groundbreaking to report from the Army energy security bloggers roundtable – at least from a national security perspective. Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and the environment seems to have her hands full with just the “installations” part of her job.  Most of the discussion focused on energy efficiency, in both existing buildings and new construction.

Hammack’s primary objective for the year is to continue progress toward the “net zero” goal.  (A net zero installation, with respect to energy, will produce at least as much energy as it consumes.)  Some bases are much closer than others – Ft. Bliss in Texas is one of the frontrunners. Last year, the base reduced its energy bills by 10-15 percent.

Great leaps in energy efficiency often require great investments.  Hammack made it clear that her organization, working with the individual installations, is committed to the issue. Significant time and capital has and will be invested.  But what about Hammack’s other responsibilities?  Energy efficiency on CONUS bases is important, but she (by her own admission) is also responsible for operational energy.

Was the emphasis on energy efficiency indicative of what the assistant secretary is working on day-to-day?