The push to limit the use of fossil fuels is expected to force European militaries to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations.
It is “hard to overlook” that energy and environmental factors are becoming increasingly important as Europe undergoes a “fundamental” transition toward a low carbon economy, said Tom Bennington, the European Defense Agency’s program manager for energy and the environment.
One way the continent’s armed forces can slash their carbon emissions is to develop sustainable bases, including permanent installations and forward-deployed camps. A pilot project begun in 2012 at the Paphos airbase in Cyprus has successfully demonstrated that a 5-megawatt solar can power a defense installation.
“According to all parties involved, it has exceeded expectations in delivering a fully sized, industrial capacity solar facility,” Bennington said.
The “Go Green” project was financed through a public-private partnership and will deliver power to the local community, including a civilian airport, through 2034.
“I believe this initiative demonstrates how armed forces can contribute to strengthen renewable energy importance within the energy mix in all EU member states,” Carlos Almodovar, of Gamma Solutions, one of the companies involved in the consortium behind the project, told Defense News.