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Like civilian infrastructure, Air Force installations are dependent on electrical energy for daily operations. Energy shortages translate to decreased productivity, higher costs, and increased health risks. But for the United States military, energy shortages have the potential to become national security risks. Over ninety-five percent of the electrical energy used by the Air Force is supplied by the domestic grid, which is susceptible to shortages and disruptions. Many Air Force operations require a continuous source of energy, and while the Air Force has historically established redundant supplies of electrical energy, these back-ups are designed for short-term outages and may not provide sufficient supply for a longer, sustained power outage. Furthermore, it is the goal of the Department of Defense to produce or procure 25 percent of its facility energy from renewable sources by fiscal year 2025. In a government budget environment where decision makers are required to provide more capability with less money, it is becoming increasingly important for informed decisions regarding which energy supply options bear the most benefit for an installation.

The analysis begins by exploring the field of energy supply options available to an Air Force installation. The supply options are assessed according to their ability to provide continuous and reliable energy, their applicability to unique requirements of Air Force installations, and their costs. Various methods of calculating energy usage by an installation are also addressed. The next step of this research develops a methodology and tool which assesses how an installation responds to various power outage scenarios. Lastly, various energy supply options are applied to the tool, and the results are reported in terms of cost and loss of installation capability. This approach will allow installation commanders and energy managers the ability to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of various energy investment options.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Air Force Energy Sources

  • Chapter Three

    Estimating Energy Consumption

  • Chapter Four

    Power Failure Response Model

  • Chapter Five

    Results from Data Analysis

  • Chapter Six

    Recommendations for an Energy Secure Force

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2015 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Paul Dreyer (Chair), Don Snyder, and Beth Lachman.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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