If the U.S. military increases its use of alternative fuels, there will be no direct benefit to the nation's armed forces. It makes more sense for the military to direct its efforts toward using energy more efficiently.
The increased use of alternative fuels by the U.S. military will not have the anticipated direct benefit to the nation's armed forces based on a new RAND study. As an alternative, the military may consider efforts to use energy more efficiently, thereby saving money and greenhouse gas emissions.
The authors perform a technical and economic assessment and estimate the economic costs and net GHG reductions from U.S renewable electricity mandates. GHG emissions reductions from such policies could be as much as 670 million metric tons per year. Depending on technological development, economic costs are $13-$45 billion per year. Lower costs depend on favorable technological progress.
The authors explore the limits of current knowledge about grid electricity in LCA and carbon footprinting for the U.S. electrical grid, and show that differences in standards, protocols, and reporting organizations can lead to important differences in estimates of CO2, SO2, and NOx emissions factors.
Misestimation of the capital costs and performance of innovative energy and chemical process plants creates fundamental problems in planning the development and commercialization of advanced technologies -- including synthetic fuels.