The Road to a Greener Navy: 10 Facts on the Navy’s Quest for Alternative Fuels

January 25, 2010

The Road to a Greener Navy: 10 Facts on the Navy’s Quest for Alternative Fuels

1. The Department of Navy consumes 1.3 billion gallons of fuel per year and is the second largest consumer of fuel in the Department of the Defense (US Air Force is 1st, Army is 3rd).

2. Every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil increases Navy fuel costs by almost $300 million.

3. The Navy has set aggressive goals to reduce its reliance on oil, including a 10% annual increase in alternative fuels use by base support vehicles and equipment.

4. Over 3,000 Electric and Natural Gas vehicles are currently in use on Navy bases. Electric and Natural Gas vehicles might be the most efficient land-based alternative energy solution since they require no conversion from the form in which they are produced or mined and are naturally transportable.

5. Alternatives to petroleum-based fuel are endless. Pond scum (algae), non-food crops, biomass, wastes and CO2 are among the many energy sources currently under study.

6. Algae fields can produce 6,000 gallons of oil per acre. A land area of 500 square miles (21.5 x 21.5 miles or 2 times the size of Washington, D.C.) could yield enough oil to meet all of the Navy’s annual fuel needs. In comparison, US oilfields currently occupy 40,000 square miles.

7. Biofuels derived from algae and the oilseeds of the Camelina sativa plant will be used in the Navy’s “Green” Hornet and “Green” Ship initiatives.

8. More than 200,000 gallons of algae- and camelina-based fuel will be delivered to the Navy for test and evaluation. These sources will be the first liquid alternatives to petroleum to be certified for future use.

9. The first Navy aircraft engine to run on bio-fuel was successfully tested this month (October 2009) at the Naval Air Warfare Center Patuxent River, Md.

10. First flight of the Navy’s F/A-18 “Green” Hornet will take flight in the spring of 2010. The camelina-based biofuel will be blended in a 50-50 mix with standard, petroleum-based JP-5 jet fuel.

Courtesy of Amy Behrman, NAVAIR Corporate Communication

The California Experiment

November 4, 2009

The California Experiment Lays the Path to Creating an Energy Efficient Economy
by Executive Director Daniel T. Colbert at the Institute for Energy Efficiency, UCSB

Thirty five years ago, before anyone else got it, Art Rosenfeld got it. He understood that energy efficiency was going to be the most important cog in reinvented energy machinery not only for his own State of California, but for the world. Head of California’s Energy Commission since its creation in 1974, Rosenfeld’s work in reducing energy consumption has been so effective that while per capita energy usage in the United States has increased by 50%, California per capita usage has stayed flat. This data, dubbed the “Rosenfeld Curve” in his honor, has inspired other states and the federal government to achieve similar savings by imitating California’s programs. California’s energy efficiency programs have saved taxpayers a total of $56 billion since the Commission’s inception.

America’s founders understood the value in letting states experiment with their own ideas and programs. However, this value is only realized if successful programs are replicated elsewhere and failures abandoned. California’s experiments in energy efficiency, while not always rewarding, have been successful in aggregate and should be adopted more broadly throughout the country. Meanwhile, three groups in California – the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UC Santa Barbara, the Center for Energy Efficiency at UC Davis and the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University – are leading the next charge on the energy efficiency front. Stay tuned for more California successes leading the nation.

Click here to read “The California Experiment“, an article by Ronald Brownstein in the Atlantic which inspired this commentary.

Some Buildings Not Living Up to Green Label

August 31, 2009

The LEED council’s own research suggests that a quarter of the new buildings that have been certified do not save as much energy as their designs predicted and that most do not track energy consumption once in use! This is crazy. If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.


Huge benefit seen in raising energy efficiency

August 6, 2009

The International Herald Tribune, July 31, 2009 Friday – The biggest opportunity to improve the U.S. energy situation would be a major investment program to make homes and businesses more efficient, according to a study by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.


How to Cut Energy Use by 60% by 2050

May 4, 2009

New modeling by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) shows how energy use in buildings can be cut by 60 percent by 2050 – essential to meeting global climate change targets – but this will require immediate action to transform the building sector. This is the central message of the report from the WBCSD’s four-year, $15 million Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) research project, the most rigorous study ever conducted on the subject.

Six Principle Recommendations:
The project’s resulting report makes six principle recommendations:
* Strengthen building codes and energy labeling for increased transparency.
* Use subsidies and price signals to incentivize energy-efficient investments.
* Encourage integrated design approaches and innovations.
* Develop and use advanced technology to enable energy-saving behavior.
* Develop workforce capacity for energy saving.
* Mobilize for an energy-aware culture.


Tackling Climate Change is about Good Economics!

May 2, 2009

President’s Clinton’s message to leaders at the Fortune Brainstorm Green on how best to address climate change was simple: It’s about “good economics.” He urged all of us to focus less on the “what” and more on the “how.” President Clinton outlined a clear strategy on how to make the case with a laundry list of opportunities and measured outcomes around building efficiencies, traffic congestion management, waste management strategies, utility modernization (including SmartGrid), low-income housing strategies and many more.


The Proliferation of Green Building Ordinances

May 2, 2009

In 2008 alone, NAIOP monitored more than 110 different cities that are looking at implementing some sort of a green ordinance for buildings. These ordinances range from incentive-based approaches to strict green requirements.

Read the full article =>

A Greener World is a Safer One

May 1, 2009

On February 18, Edward Mazria appeared at the National Building Museum in DC with John Podesta who, as a key advisor to President Obama and President of the Center for American Progress, is another of today’s most influential minds. A video of the event, presented as part of the museum’s ongoing For the Greener Good lecture series, can now be seen online, with an interactive forum for posing questions to the speakers.

Watch here.

Senate Committee Testimony on Building Efficiency

May 1, 2009

Senate Committee Calls on Edward Mazria
to Testify on Building Energy Efficiency

On February 26, Edward Mazria, founder of Architecture2030, was called before the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to give expert testimony on reducing energy consumption in buildings.
Following his appearance at the full committee hearing, Mr. Mazria responded to a list of questions for the record from U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Mazria’s responses to these questions, with additional written testimony evaluating the NAIOP study, “Achieving 30% and 50% over ASHRAE 90.1-2004 in a Low-Rise Office Building”, are provided below.

To watch a video of the hearing, click here (Mr. Mazria’s testimony begins at 38:30).