From aircraft to ships to ground vehicles, Naval tactical systems depend heavily on petroleum to operate. The Navy’s goal is to increase energy security by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. In support of this goal, the Alternative Fuels Working Group is leading the development, approval, and introduction of alternative (renewable) fuels for use in Navy systems.
This group develops the operational requirements necessary to acquire, approve and test alternative fuel types for use in Navy ships and aircraft, as well as non-tactical base support vehicles and support equipment. Through collaboration with energy partners from the armed forces, federal agencies, academia, and the energy industry, the Navy is able to effectively evaluate the potential benefits of renewable fuel sources.
The Alternative Fuels Working Group currently has several promising initiatives that could change the way the Navy consumes fuel:
- The F/A-18 Super Hornet, affectionately dubbed the “Green Hornet,” will fly on fuel derived from the camelina plant; and the “Green Ship” initiative will test fuel derived from algae. Initial results of camelina-based aviation biofuel are encouraging, and similar results are expected for the algae-based fuel.
- The Navy is also developing modeling and simulation technologies to streamline the testing and certification of alternative fuel sources.