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Green Navy Boasts Less Dependence on Foreign Oil

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 19, 2012

At an event at the Capitol in Sacramento, the Navy and about a dozen California businesses and universities showed how much progress they're making.  There were booths with algae oil used to make jet fuel and the latest in products that conserve energy.  

Karen Butterfield with SunPower says a solar project nearing completion at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in Southern California will provide 30 percent of the base's power, "It employs SunPower's high-efficiency panels as well as a single-axis tracking system that follows the sun from east to west during the course of the day to maximize the amount of energy produced."

Several independent groups were on hand to applaud the efforts.  Lawson Stuart with the Truman National Security Project says one-in-six soldiers is killed by enemy attacks on U.S. fuel convoys, "Switching to biofuels, renewables, they've got this awesome little backpack solar panel that can recharge all the batteries -we're literally saving veterans lives."

The problem most often cited for reluctance to use alternative energy is cost.  People taking part in the "green Navy" event say making renewable affordable is still the "holy grail" of alternative energy.  The Truman Project says there has been progress.  Biofuel costs have dropped by 80 percent in the last few years. 

The California Energy Commission is funding several projects.  It recently gave a biodiesel company nearly $2 million to build a 10-million-gallon-per-year production facility at the Ventura County Naval Base.   
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