USDA, Navy Launch Effort to Encourage Use of Renewable Energy

Posted on 04/07/2010 at 12:00 AM by Christa Hartsook

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations & Environment Jackalyne Pfannenstiel today kicked off the first of several energy forums to look at ways to increase biofuels production and meet the Navy's renewable energy needs. The forum comes as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed by the USDA and the Department of the Navy to encourage the development of advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems.

From a strategic perspective the objective is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels from volatile areas of the world. Tactically, on the battlefield, the costs of transporting fuel is exponentially increased; in extreme cases a gallon of gasoline could cost up to $400. To address this reality, DON announced five ambitious energy targets for the Navy and Marine Corps and biofuels are a major component of four of those goals. Those targets are summarized below:

  • When awarding contracts, appropriately consider energy efficiency and the energy footprint as additional factors in acquisition decisions.
  • By 2012, demonstrate a Green Strike Group composed of nuclear vessels and ships powered by biofuel. By 2016 sail the Strike Group as a Great Green Fleet composed of nuclear ships, surface combatants equipped with hybrid electric alternative power systems running on biofuel, and aircraft running on biofuel.
  • By 2015 cut petroleum use in its 50,000 non-tactical vehicle commercial fleet in half, by phasing in hybrid, flex fuel and electric vehicles.
  • By 2020, produce at least half of shore based installations' energy requirements from alternative sources. Also 50 percent of all shore installations will be net zero energy consumers.
  • By 2020 half of DON's total energy consumption for ships, aircraft, tanks, vehicles and shore installations will come from alternative sources.

For more information, view the full news release.

Categories: Renewable Energy