Department Of Defense Announces Billions Of Dollars In Opportunities For Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Companies


In recent weeks, the Army and Navy have solidified and ramped up their commitment to energy innovation and technology. Going forward, the services are likely to be the leading public-sector partners for funding, demonstrating, and commercializing innovative energy technology. The leadership role of the Department of Defense (DOD) is driven in part by policy directives, but at a more fundamental level, its commitment is driven by economic and national security objectives — a balance that necessitates the development of new public-private partnerships and more sustainable ongoing investment for the clean technology sector.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) has been at the forefront of DOD opportunities, and the below alert summarizes two significant developments for the clean technology industry. First, the U.S. Navy (as part of an inter-agency effort) formally announced its intent to invest in drop-in biofuels utilizing the Defense Production Act (DPA). Second, the U.S. Army announced the creation of a new energy office to oversee investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Most notably for industry, the Army is now seeking privatesector feedback (and, eventually, participation) to shape the $7.1 billion rollout for Net Zero military-base installations.

Policy Drivers

Federal agencies, including DOD, are held to several energy-related policy drivers. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) requires federal agencies to purchase 7.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2013. Presidential Executive Order 13423 requires that half of this renewable energy comes from new sources, and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2007 (NDAA) requires that 25 percent of DOD’s total electricity comes from renewable sources by 2025.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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