Following the news that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) set up its first national energy demonstration project at Zhurihe Training Base;
Mathew George, Ph.D, Analyst, Aerospace, Defense and Security at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“The project not only helps to move away from fossil fuels to maintain such a large base but also ensures that those resources can be used elsewhere or as strategic reserves. It allows the training base to have multiple options with its use of wind and solar energy to ensure its functioning and focus on training while being a technology demonstrator of multiple technologies for the adoption elsewhere. The expansion of such programs will help China meet its carbon neutrality goal.
“This is not a new endeavor for defense organizations though. India’s navy demonstrated similar capabilities last year at a base in South India. This move is aimed at not just ensuring a level of independence for the forces from the national power grid and the clean energy advantage, but also to insulate functions from security lapses (if any) and the civil demands on national structures.
“With these types of projects scaling up, the forces will also witness some reductions in their energy bills and maybe they can even be a source of some revenue generation. Presently, improving efficiency and performance is the mainstay for any defense program, a part of that equation these days is not just efficiencies in function but also in energy consumption, and all such steps by the forces will be a more common affair for all the places going forward.”