The almost snow-less early winter months didn’t offer many opportunities for testing. Then finally the Super Bowl Sunday storm headed our way. I waited in anticipation for my masterful plan to unfold. However Mother Nature had her own ideas. Her howling winds came from the northeast, and the long-awaited snow pile settled on the wrong side of the fence – a surprisingly unanticipated outcome. Maybe next year I’ll…
The U.S. military has also experienced some unanticipated outcomes as a result of its experiences in the Middle East and with homeland security. Who would have guessed that our armed forces would be leading the way in the use of locally generated power supplies such as biomass and photovoltaic (PV) solar? In the Middle East the need for reliable power supplies that don’t depend on vulnerable tanker truck convoys prompted the spread of locally produced PV electricity at many military camps and bases.
Here at home Wisconsin State Journal articles have explained how military bases’ reliance on the power grid leaves them vulnerable to hackers and terrorist threats. To counteract those threats Fort Drum, N.Y. controls its entire electrical energy supply with a biomass power plant. The base at Twentynine Palms, California saves $10 million annually by using a system of small power plants and solar panels. By 2025 the military plans to develop 3 gigawatts of renewable energy - enough to power 750,000 homes. We don’t generally associate the U.S. military with eco-friendly practices. But it clearly understands the practical economic and strategic advantages of generating locally sourced, non-fossil fuel energy. Who would have anticipated that outcome?
Unexpected opportunities using new technologies that save money and promote a healthy environment are all around us. It’s “sno” surprise that savvy folks, many of whom we’d not have guessed, will be taking advantage of these energy opportunities. Maybe you’ll be the next to save money and create a healthier world as well. That’s something we can all live with because this is our only home. We are forever…Earthbound.