Defense ministry looks to cut fossil fuel use by 70 percent

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Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

The Ministry of Defense wants to reduce its use of fossil fuels like oil and gas by 70 percent in 2050. Increased dependency on more fuel cause problems during operations, Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert writes in her Operational Energy Strategy, ANP reports. 

According to the report, the dependence on fossil fuel limits how long units can be deployed, and transporting it costs a lot of effort and man power. Fuel supply lines also make relatively easy targets and a large number of personnel is needed to protect it.

In 2010 the Ministry spent 86.8 million euros on diesel, aviation and marine fuel. That is excluding the costs of storage and security. By 2030 Hennis plans to have this reduced by at least 20 percent, when compared to 2010. And by 2050 she wants the reduction to be 70 percent, and to have army camps fully powered by sustainable energy.

In the short term, Hennis expects that switching to renewable energy in the camps will give the biggest gain. She is also focusing on saving measures, more efficient use of fuels and increasing Defense employees' awareness on energy use. In the long term, savings due to technological innovations which reduce the amounts of fuel weapon systems require will have a big impact. But according to the Ministry, such savings will likely only be noticeable after 2030.

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