FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2012
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State, Business and U.S. Navy Highlight Progress in Clean Energy and Job Creation During Navy Week at State Capitol
Showcase Charts Progress on the Heels of the Navy’s Policy Announcement to Reduce Power Consumption in Half by 2020 and the “Great Green Fleet” Biofuels Demonstration
SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 19, 2012 – Leaders from California clean tech companies, state government and the United States Navy came together at the State Capitol today to highlight innovative clean tech partnerships at Navy installations across the state. As part of Sacramento Navy Week, designed to give the community a better understanding of the Navy, the Sailors who serve in it and the important work they do, more than a dozen California companies showcased current projects with the Navy that utilize biofuels, solar power, energy efficiency and waste-to-energy advancements to meet Navy energy goals. These leaders also laid out a vision for the future of these partnerships in California.
“Where California has led the way in infrastructure, entertainment, and the computer, it stands to do so again with a sustainable energy industry,” said California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). “A partnership with the Navy offers robust roots for success. The innovative nature of California – in this case fusing the oldest of institutions with the newest of industries – continues to position our great state on the frontiers of opportunity, jobs and prosperity.”
Transforming the Navy’s New Energy Culture This event highlighted a milestone announcement by the Navy last week committing to cut its overall power consumption in half and to utilize half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
“The Navy is once again prepared to lead the nation and the world in transforming how we power the Fleet,” said Rear Admiral Dixon R. Smith, commander, Navy Region Southwest. “It was the Navy that went from wind to coal in the 1800s and transformed again to oil in the early 1900s. And in the 1950s, the Navy pioneered nuclear power. Today, we are committed to reduce energy consumption – cutting our consumption in half by 2020 – utilizing alternative energy sources, and working with California companies to develop renewable energy sources.”
Secretary of the Navy Ray Maybus has declared energy independence as a national security issue and the Navy is pursuing aggressive energy goals to increase American energy independence and reduce operational costs. Likewise, California has paved the way in renewable energy programs and policy. As a result, the Navy and the State of California are working together to expand renewable energy, use energy more efficiently and advance promising new technologies.
California Companies Develop Biofuel for the Navy This week, the Navy tested biofuels in its 2012 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise off the coast of Hawaii, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. This biofuels test, which is the first phase of the Navy’s deployment of a demonstration “Great Green Fleet,” evaluates the performance of “drop-in replacement” using advanced biofuel blends and other energy efficient technologies in an operational setting.
The ships and aircraft will be powered by biofuel blends which are 50-50 mixtures of biofuel (made from used cooking oil and algae) and petroleum-based marine diesel or aviation fuel. This fuel was partly developed by Solazyme, a California company producing renewable oils.
Developing biofuels has become a strategic necessity for the Navy given the volatility of the global oil markets. According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil equals an additional $1.3 billion to DoD’s annual energy bill. Based on the experience of conducting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with the rise of new global threats and challenges, the DoD and the Navy have made energy innovation a top strategic imperative. This effort emphasizes reducing battlefield fuel demand and securing reliable, renewable energy supplies for combat and installation operations.
State Government Helps Navy Reach its Goals Furthering advancement in development and use of biofuels, the California Energy Commission announced last month a $1.8 million grant to Biodiesel Industries of Ventura, LLC, a subsidiary of Biodico, to pioneer new technologies for the production of advanced biofuels at Biodico’s ten million gallon-per-year facility at the National Environmental Technology Demonstration Site, at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California.
“California’s remarkable leadership in clean technology, renewable energy production, and energy efficiency is well-known around the globe. In all of these areas, the Energy Commission is proud to be working with the US Navy as public research funding leverages private investment in greening the fleet,” said California Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert B. Weisenmiller. “Our partnership with the US Navy and innovative California companies represents how the State’s energy policies are being adapted to develop alternative fuels, foster clean energy resources, and improve energy reliability.”
Navy installations in California are also partnering with State government to advance “smartgrid” technology that allow for more nimble, intelligent use of energy. Since naval forces require support from shore installations, the Navy is reducing vulnerabilities to black-outs, disasters and man-made events by lowering consumption, integrating renewable energy and increasing control of energy supply and distribution.
“California is once again leading the nation by closely coordinating its energy policies with our partners at the Department of Defense to increase demand for investment in cleaner, alternative energy, which is good for California’s economy and good for the security of the United States,” said State Senator Fran Pavley, (D-Agoura Hills).
Serving as a capstone to Sacramento Navy Week, the event featured a presentation of a California Senate Concurrent Resolution by Senator Jean Fuller that recognized the Navy for its contributions to California.
Business Leaders Support the Effort
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), representing more than 600 California business leaders, expressed enthusiastic support for the Navy’s efforts. E2 co-founder Nicole Lederer commented, “The military’s demand for fuel alternatives, renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced energy storage are driving the private sector to innovate, grow new companies and create jobs, especially here in California. Businesses and consumers across the state stand to benefit from these technologies as they penetrate the civilian market, making energy prices and supplies more predictable and affordable.”
The event today included a technology exposition featuring displays by participating clean tech companies and research institutions, including Biodico, Borrego Solar, Cogenra Solar, Gevo, Power Analytics, Sapphire Energy, Sierra Energy, Solar City, Solazyme, Sullivan Solar Power, Sun Edison, SunPower Corp., UC Davis and UC San Diego.
About Navy Week
Sacramento Navy Week is designed to give residents an opportunity to interact with Sailors, understand the investment they make in their Navy, and increase awareness of the Navy’s mission, operations and importance to their region and America as a maritime nation. Sacramento Navy Week encompasses a series of events ranging from Explosive Ordnance Disposal team demonstrations to Navy Band concerts and meet-and-greet events with local Sailors, and Sailors currently serving aboard USS CALIFORNIA, one of the Navy’s newest submarines, and the aircraft carrier USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT. For more information on Sacramento Navy Week, visit www.navyweek.org.
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