DOE announced on July 27 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between itself and the U.S. Department of Defense to accelerate clean energy innovation and enhance national energy security. Both agencies are committed to reducing U.S. vulnerabilities through improved efficiencies, reduced fossil fuel use, and on-site renewable power generation.
So NESI would identify weapons systems or other programs that are arguably unnecessary. NESI would propose that those programs be replaced by new programs in renewable energy. The new programs would be located in the the locality (city, state) where the work previously got done. The previous contractors would be eligible to run the new programs.
Take, example, the alternate engine for the F-35, a program that costs $2.9 billion. The Defense Department doesn’t want it, but politicians (and contractors) fight furiously to keep it alive. Under NESI, something like the alternate engine for the F-35 fighter jet would replaced by a renewable energy program, located in the same state and perhaps involving the same contractor (GE/Rolls Royce).
As I see it, the aim would be to distribute NESI money as evenly distributed as possible geographically. Each region of the country would build out its respective strengths in renewable energy. The Southwest would primarily do solar, the upper Midwest wind and biofuels, the Northeast and wind and tidal, and so on. Nonrenewable energy would not qualify. So no “clean coal” or nuclear.
I guess I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.