More than 80 experts from national administrations participate in the first plenary session of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector. Opened today by EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete, EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq and European Commission's Director-General for Energy Dominique Ristori, the Consultation Forum will examine how energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources could be better used and implemented within the European defence sector. The consultation will take place through a series of meetings between experts from national administrations, armed forces, industry and academia.
"Some of the world’s most efficient militaries are progressively replacing expensive fossil fuels with power generated by solar panels, wind turbines and rechargeable batteries. This is not only about more reliable on-site energy generation. It's also about making it safer and cheaper for troops to complete their missions", said Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.
“Sustainable energy use starts at home. This is true for individuals as well as for the armed forces. The energy bill for Europe’s armed forces amounts to billions of euros. The EU legislation in place for energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy performance in buildings can certainly improve the armed forces’ energy output. Ultimately this will not only benefit their environmental footprint but will also result in considerable savings”, said Jorge Domecq during the opening of the first plenary session.
The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector is a European Commission initiative managed by the EDA. It brings together experts from the defence and energy sectors to share information and best practice on improving energy management, efficiency and the use of renewable energy in the civil uses of the military. The focus will be on facilitating the sharing of good practice and expertise by assessing the existing EU energy legislation, in particular the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive in order to see how different measures could be implemented in the defence sector thus contributing to on-going decarbonisation efforts.The Forum will also be a place to stimulate projects in key areas as well as identifying possible funding streams. Depending on the findings, the Forum might also develop recommendations on how to further develop directives or amending policy in relation to European funding mechanisms for defence.
The Consultation Forum will take place in a series of five plenary meetings over two years. The work will be carried out in three parallel working groups each with a particular focus: (1) Energy management, (2) Energy efficiency & 3) Renewable energy.
Energy and the military
Defence is one of the largest energy consumers in Europe. One of the key challenges is to quantify the extent of this energy usage and to assess how projects stimulated through this Consultation Forum can impact on overall EU energy usage.
Background: EDA Energy & Environment Programme
The Agency pursues a comprehensive approach to energy management which is part of its wider Energy and Environment Programme. The programme also aims to identify fully integrated solutions where both energy reduction and environmental impact are assessed together. The EDA Energy and Environment Working Group was established in June 2014 and has so far worked on a number of projects including the Strategic Research Agenda, a Demand Management (Smart Camp) Technical Demonstrator which has recently been deployed to Mali and Power Purchase Agreements (Go Green). A new project addressing water and energy use in military barracks, called “Smart Blue Water Camps” is due to start in 2016.