Sunday, November 28, 2010

NAVY ENERGY WEBSITE

The Department of the Navy unveiled a new Energy, Environment and Climate Change website in November 2010. The website, located at http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil, provides more or less all you need about Navy and Marine Corps’ programs to achieve energy security, practice environmental stewardship and understand the potential challenges presented by a changing climate. Although it needs further improvements such as easy navigation, incorporation of older news, speeches and reports on Navy and Energy by Navy services and officials, events with proceedings, I congratulate Navy for its comprehensive energy website.

On the website it is clearly stated that “The Navy is committed to improving energy security and environmental stewardship by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. The Navy is actively developing and participating in energy, environmental and climate change initiatives that will increase use of alternative energy and help conserve the world’s resources for future generations.”

Under the title energy it says “The Navy energy program is focused on enhancing operational capability. Energy security means having an adequate, reliable, and sustainable energy supply - sufficient to meet the demands of the mission.”

The cost of energy needed to complete Navy missions is becoming more volatile and less secure. Both price volatility and supply predictability are strategic concerns since Navy operational flexibility and sustainability are linked directly to our access to energy. High energy costs siphon away resources that can be used to procure Force Structure and to train and equip our Sailors. The potential for disruption of fuel supplies threatens our ability to perform in the battle space and the vulnerability of energy supplies to our facilities puts our ability to support our deployed forces at risk. Additionally, there are numerous current and prospective regulatory and legislative mandates related to energy and climate change.

Ashore and afloat efforts shall be focused across three cross functional tasks; physical and strategic security, research and development, and policy/doctrine. The overarching strategy will conserve energy, develop alternative energy options, and secure energy distribution.

As far as tactical energy is concerned

The Task Force Energy Charter recognizes that energy management is an operational and strategic imperative. Navy fuel has a direct impact on warfighting effectiveness. Navy mission is to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations. To that end, Navy must be able to maintain forward presence, even in an anti-access environment. Fuel efficiency enhances endurance, improves operational flexibility, and supports forward presence and distributed operations, while reducing vulnerability inherent in a long supply line.

Alternative Fuels Working Group develops the operational requirements necessary to acquire, approve and test alternative fuel types for use in Navy ships and aircraft, as well as non-tactical base support vehicles and support equipment. The F/A-18 Super Hornet, dubbed the “Green Hornet,” will fly on fuel derived from the camelina plant; and the “Green Ship” initiative will test fuel derived from algae. Initial results of camelina-based aviation biofuel are encouraging, and similar results are expected for the algae-based fuel.

Maritime Working Group ensures that naval ships have up-to-date technology using energy conscious products. Through Naval Sea Systems Command’s Fleet Readiness Research and Development Program, the Navy is testing five technologies on seven ships to demonstrate energy-saving initiatives that are ready to install and will improve mission effectiveness. Other programs, such as the High Efficiency HVAC and the Hybrid Electric Drive for DDG-51 class ships, are improvements to existing shipboard technologies that will both help with fleet readiness and decrease the ships’ energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. If implemented on ships in the future, these initiatives could greatly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels..

Expeditionary Working Group aims to identify opportunities to improve energy use and increase the capability of expeditionary forces. Current energy programs managed within the Expeditionary community include: (1) The on-board vehicle power initiative, an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded effort, will improve tactical wheeled vehicle fuel economy while providing exportable electric power. (2) Improved environmental control equipment will improve ECU energy efficiency up to 23 percent and reduce electrical power requirements by 10-25 percent. (3) Integrated generator/environmental control will provide full 30kW of electrical power output in all environments

Aviation Working Group is charged with developing strategies and initiatives to implement Navy energy goals within the Naval Aviation community. This includes developing operational and policy goals, as well as technologies designed to reduce energy consumption across the Naval Aviation Enterprise. The Aviation Working Group is working closely with the other military services, allies, government agencies and commercial industry to increase energy security and efficiency. The energy programs that are developed help to achieve the Navy energy strategy, while also promoting a culture of energy efficiency through new training programs and technological updates. 

Energy programs currently managed within the aviation community include:

• The F/A-18 F414 Engine Efficiency Demonstration will test engine technologies with the objective to decrease the amount of fuel using during flight. This program has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by 3 percent per hour of flight. Improvements in naval aviation simulation will provide advanced alternative training solutions and further reduce demand on limited energy resources.

• The Advanced Engine Technology Development initiative and the Aviation Energy Conservation Research and Development Program are efforts designed to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. These programs also include improvements to current systems, such as the T-56 engine.

As far as shore energy is concerned
The Navy’s approach has three pillars: Energy Efficiency, Culture and  Behavior and Renewable Energy and Sustainability. Renewable Energy and Sustainability is perhaps the most pronounced one. The Navy produces 12 percent of its total annual energy needs from renewable sources.  The Navy is pursing renewable and alternative energy technology using a “Watch-Partner-Lead” approach: Watch maturing technologies and invest when/where viable; Partner to develop needed technologies with others; Lead the development of mission-critical technology.

Listed below are some examples of the renewable energy technology the Navy is pursuing:
·         Solar Photovoltaic
·         Wind Energy
·         Geothermal Energy
·         Ocean Energy
·         Renewable Thermal Energy
·         Biomass & Methane Fuel

In addition, Navy is pursuing science and technology investments in alternative fuel sources, energy distribution and control, energy storage, and power generation and loads – all with an eye toward environmental stewardship.
·         Fuels
·         Distribution and Control
·         Energy Storage
·         Power Generation
·         Power Loads

Non-Tactical Vehicles programs focus on Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs). The Navy’s non-tactical vehicle fleet consists of 46,485 light, medium and heavy duty vehicles and equipment, fire fighting and weight handling equipment. Approximately half of the light and medium vehicles are alternatively-fueled. The AFV program has been strategically implemented to effectively and efficiently use existing alternative fuel sources in converting the fleet to various alternative-fuels vehicle and establishing infrastructure to maintain alternative fuel usage. Navy has made significant progress over the last seven years to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

These accomplishments include: 
• Reduced petroleum consumption by 31 percent from 2005 to 2009;

• Exceeded AFV acquisition goal of 75 percent seven years in a row; against an acquisition requirement of 2,315 vehicles it acquired 2,649 AFV/credits in 2009, or 114 percent ;

• Used over 169,198 gallons of Biodiesel (B20) and 226,126 gallons of E85 in 2009 with significant infrastructure improvements in 2009 for both E-85 and Biodiesel;

• Replaced more than 900 gasoline vehicles with Neighborhood Electric vehicles (NEVs) and are currently in the process of replacing more than 500 gasoline vehicles, including buses with hybrid electric vehicles;

• Procurement of a Heavy Diesel-Hybrid Refuse Hauler as part a program to evaluate performance and fuel efficiencies of heavy duty vehicles.

Besides, Navy is engaged in various pilots, initiatives, and researching new technologies such as car-sharing, GPS monitoring, low-rolling resistant tires, real time fuel economy indicators in an effort to reduce fossil fuel usage. In addition, it has been exploring opportunities to increase alternative fuel use by partnering with the Navy Exchange (NEX) and private industry to convert existing infrastructure or open new E85 and B20 fueling stations. Four E85 and B20 stations have opened recently at navy installations in the Pacific Northwest, two by the NEX and two CNIC/NAVFAC owned. NEX will open additional E85 infrastructure in Norfolk. NEX and CNIC/NAVFAC Hawaii are planning to open E85 and B20 infrastructure in the near future.

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