Environmental concerns regarding ocean energy include possible interference with aquatic animal movement and migration as well as possible injury or mortality to sea creatures, however, further investigation is required. Future leaders from the Naval Postgraduate School receive training in energy efficiency and renewable energy, putting them on course for a sustainable future where green technology is a priority. The Navy expects to produce half its power from renewable sources by 2020.
The U.S. military is the world’s largest consumer of oil, but President Obama acknowledged the Department of Defense’s commitment to clean energy in his State of the Union Address this January, singling out the Navy’s plan to purchase “enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year,” approximately 1 gigawatt (one billion watts). Part of that purchase includes 270 megawatts of geothermal power by the end of 2012, according to Tom Hicks, Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Navy (Energy).
The Navy has researched other alternative energy areas such as fuel-cell vehicles, solar power, and biofuels for ships. Some members of Congress have criticized the Navy’s investments in green technology, but supporters maintain that the future of our nation’s security relies heavily upon reduced dependence on foreign sources of energy, which are often unstable regions involved in international conflicts.