The European Defence Agency (EDA) has alerted European countries to the need for a sustainable approach in military operations, as the region’s armed forces are impacted by the global push toward a low-carbon economy.
In an interview with DefenseNews, Tom Bennington, programme manager for energy and the environment at the European Defence Agency, suggested ways in which the European armed forces may work towards carrying out their operations.
Mr Bennington's recommendations for the military include deploying troops to low-footprint, low-energy camps and developing self-sufficient main operating bases using renewable energy resources.
The European Defence Agency said that energy and environmental factors are becoming increasingly important as the European region “undergoes a ‘fundamental’ transition to a low carbon economy,” reports the trade publication.
Energy efficient military practices
Bennington provides an example of ‘best practice’ in sustainable military operations with the “Go Green" project at the Paphos military airbase in Cyprus.
In January this year, the European Defence Agency signed a contract with a European energy consortium to install and operate a solar facility at Paphos airbase.
Under the agreement, the airbase will be powered by a state-of-the-art solar facility, designed to generate peak power of about 5 MW for the next 20 years.
Commenting on the low-carbon practices currently employed at the Paphos airbase, Bennington added: "The aim is to reduce diesel consumption at a military site. This should be achieved through the use of renewable energy from both wind and solar power sources, to be integrated into the power supply through novel smart grid technology.
"This is a tangible step toward fully sustainable deployed bases where water, waste and energy would all be managed in a more sustainable fashion, both efficient and with minimal adverse impact on the environment."
NATO military testing in Hungary
Earlier this year, Metering & Smart Energy International reported on the intergovernmental military alliance NATO testing of energy efficient solutions including microgrids as part of its annual logistics interoperability exercise at Bakony Combat Training Centre near Veszprem, Hungary.
Through Exercise Capable Logistician, a total of 1,700 troops will be took part in the exercise, where 50 pieces of military equipment was tested using different energy efficient technologies to evaluate how they interact.
In the long-term, NATO will introduce technologies that will reduce fuel consumption by troops deployed on military operations. The drills carried out during the exercise are also aimed at enhancing the interoperability of energy-efficient technologies and military equipment.