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A Green US Marine - Solar Power Is Combat Power
 
The United States Marine Corps went 'green', but it is an effort to save lives in the war zones rather to save gaia.  The Marines have adopted a renewable energy sratgey that provided thousands of Marines deployed in Afghanistan with solar-powered gadgets.  Previously, a 3-months study showed that a Marine is wounded for every fifty trips made to transport fuel or water in Afghanistan.  The US Marine Corp them conducted a 7-months trial in Helmand province's Sangin district wih a company of 150 Marines. The Marines were given solar panels to charge their radio batteries. The innovative Marines promptly found other uses for the solar panels.  They also installed solar-powered generators in 2 patrol outposts and hence, do away with the need to resupply fuel to these outposts. Previously, such outposts would need fuel resupply at least once a month to power their gas generators.
 
As a result of the wildly successful trial, the Marine Corps planned to spend another US$9 million to equip more Marines in Afghanistan with portable solar panels and solar-powered generators in order to reduce troop movement for fuel resupply.
 
The array of solar-powered equipment to be made available, include solar blankets that can be stuffed in backpacks, large solar tarpaulin that can be draped over a tent and a solar panel array that can generate enough electrical power to run a platoon command centre.
 
As with many other inventions, military usage will eventually lead to cheaper commercial application. Solar panels has been around for a while now. With the US Marines weighing in, the cost of solar power generators may soon drop, leading to wider acceptance by users around the world.