Sunday, December 05, 2010

Energy in DOD Services FY2010 Financial Statements

DOD’s FY2010 Financial Report (released on 15 November 2010) starts with classical assessment -America’s interests and role in the world require armed forces with unmatched capabilities and a willingness on the part of the nation to employ them in defense of our interests and the common good. The US remains the only nation able to project and sustain large-scale operations over extended distances.

Now, let’s have a look at some facts:

As of August 2010 the DOD’s manpower consisted of 1,435,731 on Active Duty, 859,436 Reserve and National Guard, and 790,559 civilians.

The DOD’s worldwide infrastructure includes nearly 539,000 facilities (buildings and structures) located at more than 5,000 sites around the world, on more than 28 million acres.

The DOD operates approximately 15,800 aircraft and 500 ships, in addition to hundreds of thousands tactical and non-tactical ground vehicles.

All these consume energy, lots of it. Monetary value of consumed energy is over 20 billon dollars. Yes, compared to the DOD budget these energy costs are negligible. During FY 2010, DoD’s enacted budget authority amounted to $691.2 billion. It also received resources from the U.S. Treasury for retirement and health benefits and appropriations in support of civil work projects executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In total, the Department received $769 billion in FY 2010 resources.

The US military runs on oil. That is why DOD pays immense effort for reducing its dependency on conventional oil and seeks for finding ways to use alternative and renewable energy sources. U.S. Air Force and Navy are the two leading services. However, in the past 2 years it seems that Navy is overtaking the Air Force, at least on PR ground.

Let me summarize the DoD services efforts in alternative and biofuels in FY2010 as indicated in their Annual Financial Statements. Of course, financial statements are not the place to look for these developments. But space dedicated to alternative and renewable energy resources is (for me) shows their eagerness.

the United States Air Force Annual Financial Statement 2010 p.75-76

In FY2010 the Air Force continued certification of the alternative jet fuel blend of JP-8 with up to 50% synthetic kerosene produced by the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process. The Air Force plans to certify all of its systems which use jet fuel to be able to use the FT blend by early 2011. USAF-certified aircraft now include C-5, C-130, C/KC135, E-3, F-4, F-15, F-16, F-22, H-60, T-6, in addition to the F-15, F-22, B-52, C-17 and B-1 reported certified last year. In addition, the B-2, H-1, and E-8 certification is imminent.

Field service evaluations to identify longer term effects of the blended, fuel were successfully completed on a representative example of USAF’s fueling infrastructure with no negative effects found. Additional longer term use evaluations are being planned for both the F-16 and the C- 130. Consistent with this change and the USAF effort to harmonize the commercial and JP-8 jet fuel specifications, a change to the JP-8 specification (MIL-DTL-83133G) was implemented on Apr 30, 2010, authorizing up to 50% of JP-8 to contain up to 50% FT synthetic kerosene.

In addition, the Air Force has initiated certification activities for another near-term potential nonpetroleum fuel blend; its blend stocks are derived from biological fats and oils. This class of fuel blend stocks is termed Hydroprocessed Renewable Jet (HRJ) fuel, which, when blended up to 50% with JP-8, will provide the Air Force with sustainable options for reducing the use of petroleum fuels. Thus far, the F110 and F100 engines have successfully completed testing of representatives of this fuel class in the test cells at Arnold Engineering Development Center. Also, these fuels have successfully powered flights by A-10 and C-17 aircraft. The fuel has, thus far, functioned just like JP-8 and fleet certification is on track for mid FY12.

"Fiscal Year 2010 Department of the Navy Annual Financial Report."

One of the Navy’s six strategic objectives support the U.S. maritime strategy is “Build the Navy-Marine Corps Force for Tomorrow.” Sustaining U.S. maritime preeminence requires naval forces to prepare continually for future challenges as well as threats to national security and U.S. global interests. One of the three key initiatives in this regard is energy reform (the others are unmanned systems, and acquisition reform).

As far as Energy Reform is concerned, the Navy states that “readily available energy is essential for deploying our Sailors and Marines around the globe in support of our nation’s interests. Since our operational flexibility and sustainability are directly linked to our energy supplies, energy reliability is a strategic concern for our force…..Reducing our naval forces’ reliance on fossil fuels is critical to our national security, environment, and naval capabilities. Our nation and naval forces rely heavily on a finite source of fuel from volatile global regions. In addition, our reliance on fossil fuels affects our naval forces’ operational independence, both in terms of the resources required to obtain fuel and to transport it to the ships, aircraft, and equipment, and the Sailors and Marines whose duty it is to protect the ships and convoys moving the fuel.”

With these risks in mind, Navy has taken an ambitious stance toward energy reform by committing to five energy goals. These goals require adoption of new fuels and development of new systems and energy efficient practices and techniques over the next decade.

The Navy conducted a test flight of the “Green Hornet,” an F/A-18 Super Hornet Strike Fighter jet running on a biofuel blend. The Green Hornet biofuel program is the first aviation program to test and evaluate the performance of a biofuel blend in supersonic operations (i.e., greater than 750 miles per hour). The Marine Corps is working toward powering the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-25), as well as other selected tactical vehicles and equipment with biofuel blends.

The USS Makin Island (LHD 8) is the first amphibious assault ship constructed with gas turbine engines and an electric drive to power it at low speeds. During its transit from Pascagoula, Mississippi to its new homeport in San Diego, Makin Island consumed over 900,000 gallons less fuel than a steam ship completing the same transit, saving more than $2 million in fuel costs.

ONR is leading the Navy with support for alternative fuel research, and has been a leader and key supporter of fuel cell research for 20 years. Fuel cells create an electric current by converting hydrogen and oxygen into water. Fuel cell technology is pollution-free, and expected to deliver twice the efficiency of an internal combustion engine. The fuel cell engine runs more quietly but with greater endurance than battery-powered systems. The relatively small 550- watt fuel cells provide an additional advantage for the UAV. Fuel cell technology allows UAVs to conduct surveillance for longer periods of time, thus reducing the number of daily launches to collect data. It saves time and effort for the crew, and ultimately results in less wear to the UAV.

And Army? Well, Army Financial statement does not mention anything. This does not mean that Army does not do anything on alternative and renewable energy front. It is only that Army is very bad in PR:

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