The US military and space programs have long pushed the boundaries of science and technology. And despite political pressures one way or another, the military fight two wars (there is a current drawdown in Iraq) has the military thinking differently about its supply line and fuel requirements.
Furthermore, the ability to create an ecosystem for sustainability and use renewable energy sources on the battlefield and in the air is the ultimate goal of all the branches of military.
According to CNN, one medic returned home from the war and converted his home to use solar power. The strategy is really two folds. First, the military is trying to get itself off the addiction to fossil fuel. Right now, as you know, much of our sources of oil in the world come from regions with political instability and interests that does not necessarily align with ours.
Second, the same medic is right. Some of the money we pay for the oil goes back into hands of those who are no friendly to the US.
Solar panels that can be rolled up into a backpack (less heavy batteries to carry around), biofuels used in ships and planes, wind turbines build near bases to supply electricity, and greater efficiency and conservation technologies/policies are just some of the top priorities of the military.
More than that, the green push by the military also means one thing: saving lives. One in eight casualties in Iraq came from soldiers guarding supplies convoys. Currently, it costs the military on the ground $40 a gallon to transport fuel to bases on the war front.
Oh, did I mentioned that the military's attention on these green tech also have civilian applications?