Navy's Key Achievements in Biofuels
At the 2009 Navy Energy Forum, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus committed the Navy to a goal of decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels and outlined five ambitious energy targets to increase the efficiency of ships and aircraft and reduce the Navy’s dependency on fossil fuels. To reach these goals the Navy aims to certify alternative fuels for use in its aircraft and ships.
Although I have serious doubts that the Navy will achieve all these targets literally, it is on the right track.
Key Navy achievements thus far include testing of biofuel mixture level from 5%-30% on a prototype Light Armored Vehicle, the flight of an F/A-18 aircraft on a 50/50 blend of camelina-based biofuel and JP-5 in April 2010, demonstration of an algae-based biofuel aboard both a rigid-hull inflatable boat and a riverine command boat in October 2010, and test flight of an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter in November 2010 on a 50/50 blend of JP-5 and camelina-based biofuel.
This post gives an overview of these tests.
The question nobody asks
I understand that the Navy is committed to improving energy security and environmental stewardship by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Biofuels is the prime candidate to lessen the dependence on conventional oil and hence move closer to a "greener" Navy. But why nobody asks a crucial question: at what cost? This will be the subject of my next post.
Labels: Navy biofuels