I helped out with this piece by Marketplace’s Scott Tong that aired on August 31st, 2011. Military funding spurs clean-tech innovation
“As the Pentagon looks to cut oil use, its efforts are giving a boost to start-up technology that could one day go mainstream.”
SUZANNE HUNT: Someone has to pay for those expensive test batches. It’s very similar to what the military did with cell phones and computer chips. They were the ones that bought the big, clunky, super expensive first model.
And they may play a big cultural role in the new energy economy. Hunt says just as the military was an early institution to desegregate — soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen are now early adopters of renewables.
HUNT: They bring that knowledge and that experience back to their communities. And they tend not to be the same communities as one often things of — Silicon Valley, Manhattan — whatever people think of with clean tech.
As for alternative fuels, the military has a lot riding on it. The Air Force, Navy and Marines all hope to cut their fossil fuel use in half. But, is the technology ready? Is now the right time to bet on it?