Fora nation anda Navythat relies on petroleum, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has estab- lished ambitious goals to reduce that dependency. And not because it’s the “green” thing to do. It
is about the mission.
Speaking at the World Energy Innovation Forum in
Fremont, Calif., in March, Mabus said, “Optimizing
our energy use is a force multiplier, increasing our
capabilities, our impact and our endurance across plat-
forms and disciplines. Factoring energy use into our
planning and execution gives us a combat advantage,
enabling us to gain the most effect from every gallon of
fuel or watt of electricity.”
Energy efficiency can be engineered into systems. For
example, the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island
(LHD 8) has a hybrid propulsion system that uses elec-
tric motors for propulsion at low speeds and gas tur-
bines at higher speeds. During its maiden deployment
that began in November 2011,
Makin Island was able to save 4
million gallons of fuel and remain
on station longer between refuel-
ings than traditional LHDs.
Using the hybrid drive 50 percent
of the time increases time on station
by as much as two and a half days
between refuelings, and by as much
as four days using it 75 percent of
the time. The Navy plans to upgrade
18 Arleigh Burke-class guided-
missile destroyers with hybrid drive.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the
Navy (Energy) Joseph M. Bryan told
Seapower the driving force behind
the department’s renewable energy
goals is not environmental steward-
ship, although that is important.
“We’re transforming how we use
energy because it matters so much
to the mission. We want to be able
to go farther on a tank of gas and stay on station longer
without having to refuel. We also want to diversify our
energy sources to provide as much operational flexibil-
ity as we can get,” he said.
According to the Navy’s Renewable Energy Program
Office, the service currently produces about 22 percent of
its total annual facility electricity from renewable sources.
There are a variety of materials that can be converted
to fuel, such as corn, sugar cane, sugar beets, sawgrass,
pond algae or leftover cooking oil from fast food restau-
rants. Some of these fuels are no longer experimental.
The Navy recently purchased 77 million gallons of
blended military-standard F76 fuel — used for ship propulsion — at the same price as conventional fuel ($2.05
per gallon), which was made cost-competitive thanks to
a 15-cent per gallon “commodity credit” contribution
from the Department of Agriculture. Bryan said the “bio”
component is waste beef fat provided by U.S. farmers.
Mission mandates the Navy embrace new energy sources
By EDWARD LUNDQUIST, Special Correspondent
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in 2009 said he aimed to
increase the use of alternative energy across the Department of
the Navy and, by 2020, 50 percent of total energy consumption
would come from alternative sources.
n By 2020, the department would produce at least 50 percent
of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources; 50
percent of Navy and Marine Corps installations will be net-zero.
n The department would demonstrate a Green Strike Group in
local operations by 2012 and sail it by 2016, which it accomplished.
n By 2015, the department would reduce petroleum use in the
commercial fleet by 50 percent, which it also accomplished.
n The Department of the Navy has issued policy guidance concerning the use of energy-related factors in acquisition planning,
technology development and source selections for platforms and