Military outposts require a lot of fuel to run generators, as well as heavy armored vehicles. Many fatalities in Afghanistan have come from attacks on fuel convoys needed to supply remote outposts. If the armed forces reduce their power needs, and generate more of their power at remote outposts from local sources, they can reduce the number of fuel convoys and expose fewer troops and contractors to the risks of transporting fuel.
This is why they’re actively working on algae and other biofuels. With algae supplying fuel, all they’d need would be water, some feedstock nutrients, and plastic tubes laid out on the ground to make bio-diesel.
There is the short term reason of increasing strategic flexibility on the battlefield. In the long run, it is likely that the military would like to develop forces that don’t require fuel. This is because the military is accutely aware of waning oil resources. The military wants to reamin powerful in a world without access to oil. This is especially important because a world without oil will likely involve political upheaval. The military would likely be tasked with supressing this upheaval and ensuring continuity of government. This breakdown may happen earlier than we think. The military has already projected that significant fuel shortaged will occur by next year (see attached article).
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