Energy Innovation Systems From the Bottom Up: Technology Policies for Confronting Climate Change

Program Areas –

DOD Energy Innovation Atlas


Over the past several years much attention has been paid to the US Department of Defense for its potential to catalyze energy technology innovation. At the same time, DoD is not an all-purpose energy innovator. While energy offices have been established across DoD, much of the energy related Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) remains dispersed in the budget within a variety of mission-focused programs. Similarly, renewable energy initiatives at military installations are geographically and organizationally distributed, ranging in scale from 1 kW to over 500,000 kW. These mission-focused programs leverage the unique institutional attributes that have powered DoD innovation throughout history (see Energy Innovation at the Department of Defense: Assessing the Opportunities). But the fact that energy innovation at DoD is an adjunct to the larger national security mission, combined with DoD’s extraordinary institutional complexity, also make it very difficult to capture the overall scale and details of DoD investment and priorities related to energy innovation. The DoD ENERGY INNOVATION ATLAS on this website provides, for the first time, a synoptic view of the complex DoD energy innovation enterprise. Through a series of interactive figures, the DoD ENERGY INNOVATION ATLAS aims to present in vivid detail the end-to-end nature of the DoD energy innovation system including RDT&E, procurement, and deployment at military installations.

Basic Instructions

The bar graphs use data gathered from the Energy Innovation Tracker to display the Department of Defense spending on energy related RDT&E and procurement. The Program Elements in the R-2 budget organizes the rows in figures for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Each Program Element contains one or more project titles and each project title is color coded by technology category. Move the cursor or click anywhere on the bars in the figures to explore individual project titles within a Program Element, or click on the technology category in the key at the bottom of each figure to highlight project titles for this technology in all Program Elements. The bar graphs depict the total budget including FY 2009-2013, plus the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Some projects span all years while others were funded for shorter times. By clicking on the bars, funding for each individual year is detailed.

Technology Categories

Technologies were organized into twelve categories for the entire budget using the following clarifications. Batteries and Fuel Cells each have their own category, however significant battery and fuel cell RDT&E is also found in the Portable Power category. Portable Power was used for project titles that emphasize batteries and fuel cells together, and/or other portable power systems. The Generation category includes micro/smart grid applications that enable generation as well as internal combustion generators and renewable sources for generation (e.g. waste heat). Vehicle Power Components is a broad category covering, for example auxiliary power units and hybrid powertrains. Project titles included as Uncategorized often list several of the technology categories within one description. Finally, these technology categories have been modified from the categories appearing in the Energy Innovation Tracker.