Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The greening of the military

Posted By on Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM

A couple weeks ago the Indy reported on the U.S. Air Force testing an A-10 Thunderbolt powered by a 50/50 blend of regular jet fuel and fuel derived from Montana-grown camelina. (See a video of the flight below.)

Today, the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate released a report (PDF) detailing all of the military's initiatives to save energy, mitigate climate change and reduce costs.

From the press release (PDF):

Overall, the Department of Defense has set a goal of producing or procuring 25 percent of its electric energy needs from renewable sources by 2025. Some specific initiatives by the armed services featured in the report include:
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- The U.S. Navy is developing a “green” carrier strike group to run completely on alternative fuels by 2016. (On April 22, the U.S. Navy will demonstrate the ‘Green Hornet’, an F/A-18 Super Hornet powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland);

- The U.S. Army is developing a 500-megawatt solar power generation plant in Fort Irwin, California that will help power the base and reduce the base’s vulnerability to power supply disruptions. Named a ‘Net-Zero Plus installation’, the Army hopes to free the base entirely from reliance on the public electric grid within the next decade;

- The U.S. Air Force has a goal of meeting 25 percent of base energy needs with renewable energy sources by 2025; and

- The U.S. Marine Corps has launched the 10x10 campaign aimed at reducing energy intensity, water consumption and increasing the use of renewable electric energy.

“The stakes could not be higher,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. “Energy reform will make us better fighters. In the end, it is a matter of energy independence and it is a matter of national security. Our dependence on foreign sources of petroleum makes us vulnerable in too many ways. The stakes are clear and the stakes are high. Our response has to be equal to that challenge."

For more information on the Pew report, click here.

Here's Montana's camelina fuel in action:

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