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U.S. Air Force to quadruple solar use

Jan. 26, 2011 at 1:58 PM

NEW PALTZ, N.Y., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force, the No. 1 government buyer of renewable energy, plans to quadruple its on-base solar-energy use in four years, an Air Force official said.

"Energy is a thread that runs through every single mission we have," Air Force Deputy Assistant Energy Secretary Kevin Geiss said. "We're also continually trying to change that culture and work on the mindset of our airmen to get them to consider (how they use energy) in everything they do."

The U.S. Defense Department, which spent more than $24 billion on fuel and power last year, has ordered all military branches to increase their renewable-energy use to 25 percent of total consumption by 2025, Geiss told solar-energy executives at a university conference in a burgeoning solar-industry area north of New York City.

"Achieving a firm, energy-secure posture is key to all the missions we have," the Middletown, N.Y., Times-Herald Record quoted Geiss as saying.

U.S. President Barack Obama proposed in his State of the Union address Tuesday for 80 percent of America's electricity to come from renewable, or "clean," energy sources by 2035, and called for $8 billion a year in research and development on clean-energy technologies, a one-third increase.

Clean-energy technologies are "an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet and create countless new jobs for our people," he said.

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