The Naval War College is hosting its annual Current Strategy Forum, with the topic this year focusing on "Energy and U.S. National Security." So far, an interesting mix of presentations: what can be achieved through greater efficiency; how have changes in military operations (dispersed operations--small decentralized units operating over a large battlespace) changed the need for energy and resources--and can we make units more "self-sufficient" in terms of their needs (small generators, solar panels for recharging batteries, and so on). What about new technologies for alternate energies?
Some of the presentations have highlighted some points raised last week in World Politics Review, about the need for stable energy prices in order to encourage investments in new technologies and alternate sources:
A stable $85 per barrel price, freed from speculative swings, would bring down fuel prices and ease the strain on household budgets in the United States and help to stabilize the natural gas price in Europe. Yet this price would still be "high enough" to justify long-term efforts to find and develop technologies for more-efficient hydrocarbon extraction; to locate and bring online new unconventional sources of supply in order to meet the inevitable increase in energy demand from the rising economies of the South and East; and to develop and encourage the introduction of alternative technologies that would help us to move beyond hydrocarbons altogether.