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09 April 2010

US Navy sets course for "great green fleet"

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The US Navy is looking to boost its green credentials with the launch of a new energy manifesto containing five targets for reducing its carbon footprint and reducing its reliance on foreign oil

The pledges include a commitment to use alternative energy sources for at least half of its shore-based installations' energy requirements by 2020, as well as targets to ensure renewables account for 50 per cent of the total energy used by its ships, aircraft, tanks and vehicles by the same date.

The manifesto also includes a goal of ensuring half of all shore installations become net zero energy consumers by the end of the decade, a move that would both cut carbon emissions and enhance the energy security of military installations.

Central to the new strategy is an increase in the use of biofuels to power the US fleet of nuclear vessels and ships that will culminate in the formation by 2016 of a "great green fleet" made up of nuclear ships, surface combatants equipped with hybrid electric alternative power systems and aircraft all powered entirely by biofuels.

Meanwhile, the US Navy also wants to halve its use of petroleum in its 50,000 non-tactical vehicle fleet by turning to hybrid, flex-fuel and electric vehicles by 2015, and has said that suppliers' carbon footprints will from now on be a factor when contracts are awarded.


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