US Navy Ship

Navy suggestions 50 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020

The U.S. Navy has been selected as a finalist in three categories in the international competition for the 2010 Platts Global Energy Awards, which will be announced Dec. 2.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in leadership, innovation and performance in the energy field.

Prior winners include Exxon Mobil, Shell, Walmart and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The finalists were selected by a panel of international industry experts from more than 200 nominations submitted from more than 30 countries.

“Selection of the Navy as a finalist in three categories in the same year is unprecedented for a military service,” said Rear Adm. Philip Cullom, director of the Energy and Environmental Readiness Division of the Chief of Naval Operations and the architect of Task Force Energy. “I am pleased to see the Navy’s energy accomplishments recognized by this prestigious awards program.”

The Navy’s achievements in each of the three finalist categories are as follows:

– Category: Industry Leadership Award

The Navy’s establishment of aggressive energy goals and its implementation of Task Force Energy qualified the service as a finalist for this award. The award is given to an organization that has taken decisive action resulting in a substantial transformation in its energy posture.

The Chief of Naval Operations created Task Force Energy with the mission of enhancing the Navy’s strategic, tactical and operational capabilities through greater energy efficiency and development of more secure and sustainable energy supplies. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued amplifying and visionary energy goals that will transform Navy energy use during the next 10 years, moving the Navy from a vulnerable and unsustainable petroleum-based energy strategy to the widespread use of alternative/renewable fuels for ships and aircraft.

Key Navy achievements thus far include the Earth Day 2010 flight of an F/A-18 aircraft on a 50/50 blend of camelina-based biofuel and petroleum based fuel and the October 2010 operation of an experimental riverine command vessel on a 50/50 blend of algae-based biofuel and petroleum.

“These achievements demonstrate significant progress in meeting the Secretary of the Navy’s goal of supplying half the Navy’s energy needs with alternative fuels by 2020,” said Cullom.

– Category: Energy Efficiency Program of the Year

The Navy’s Incentivized Energy Conservation (i-ENCON) program has qualified the service as a finalist for this award. The award is given to the top energy management program that effectively improves an organization’s energy use.

The i-ENCON program encourages and rewards bottom-up management practices and cultural change in fuel usage by Navy ships. Vessels demonstrating a reduction in fuel usage while maintaining all operational commitments are rewarded by additions to their operating budget. This program also disseminates to all ships the fuel-saving lessons learned by each in areas such as managing fuel consumption, adjusting transit speed, selecting fuel efficient routes and eliminating unproductive energy expenditures.

“We are proud of the Navy’s i-ENCON program,” said Cullom. “During fiscal year 2009, Navy ships achieved savings of more than $99 million in fuel costs, as compared with the projected amounts. These are significant savings.”

– Category: Engineering Project of the Year

The commissioning and operation of USS Makin Island (LHD 8), the Navy’s first ship incorporating an electric auxiliary propulsion system (APS) – also referred to as a hybrid electric drive – has qualified the service as a finalist for this award, which is presented for engineering excellence.

Although similar technology is widely used in automobiles, it has never been adapted to power a large vessel. The ship employs gas turbines and electric motors and services rather than the typical steam powered turbines, greatly improving overall energy efficiency. Gas turbines are inefficient when operating at low speeds – something large deck amphibious ships spend significant time doing.

By using its APS for speeds of 10 knots or less, fuel costs were reduced by $2 million during the ship’s 2009 maiden voyage from Mississippi to San Diego. Total fuel savings during the ship’s lifetime will amount to nearly $250 million.

“Where possible, the Navy will be an ‘early adopter’ of new technologies that enhance national security in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Cullom. “The USS Makin Island is a great example how the Navy is leading the way to achieve energy efficiency.”