Undeterred, it would seem, by the recent efforts of the Republican-heavy Congress’ to sink its ‘great green fleet’ scheme, the US Navy has unveiled a major update of its energy policies ashore, calling for improved efficiency, greater conservation and increased use of renewable power to cut energy consumption in half at its bases by the end of the decade. Reuters reportsthat the update – released on Tuesday, and the first updated energy policy for shore installations in 18 years – was described by Vice Admiral Phil Cullom, deputy chief of naval operations, as being geared mainly at improving energy security for the Navy’s 70 bases and other facilities worldwide. “Energy security is a strategic imperative and it applies to both ashore and afloat,” Cullom said in a telephone briefing. “The instruction that has just been published is … the latest example of how we’re driving a Spartan energy ethos.”
The Navy has an established goal of cutting its power consumption in installations ashore in half by 2020, says Reuters. It also wants half of its energy to come from renewables by the end of the decade, and half of its installations to be net-zero consumers of energy. These goals are part of US President Barack Obama’s “all-of-the-above” strategy to boost America’s clean energy development and reduce US dependence on foreign oil. In April, Obama’s administration set a goal for the Pentagon to produce 3GW of solar, wind and geothermal power on military bases by 2025.
Cullom said the Navy would kick off the ashore green push by installing advanced metering systems to measure electricity, natural gas and steam consumption so officials know how much they are using. He said that the Navy hoped to train military personnel about the importance of adopting the same conservative energy practices ashore that they need to use at sea. “I can’t overemphasise how important the culture change piece is,” Cullom said. “You’re trying to change the attitudes and the views of hundreds of thousands of people … so that what they do on board ship is what they do at home.” The US Navy already produces alternative power at some facilities, says Reuters – generating enough to power about 143,000 homes.
Japan eyes $628bn green energy market
The Japanese government has released a draft of its growth strategy, revealing its plans to create a $628 billion green energy market by 2020 through deregulation and subsidies to promote the development of renewable energy and low-emission cars. Reuters, which obtained a copy of the draft on Tuesday, reports that the government will also work with the Bank of Japan to ensure the country exits deflation and achieves stable price growth. “The government hopes the BOJ maintains powerful monetary easing to beat deflation,” the draft said.
The draft, which reportedly does not contain any numerical targets for GDP growth or inflation levels by 2020, reveals a long-term strategy to boost Japan’s growth potential and seek new areas of growth. In the strategy, the government says it will seek to develop a ¥50 trillion renewable energy market and create 1.4 million jobs by 2020. The plan includes measures to promote green cars, with the goal of having alternatively fuelled cars make up half of new automobile sales by 2020. Japan’s economy is expected to outperform most of its G7 peers this year, says Reuters, with growth of around 2 per cent, helped by reconstruction spending after a devastating earthquake and tsunami last year.
New SA company to deliver green offgrid power solutions
A new start-up has entered the Australian alternative energy scene, with the aim of developing sustainable off-grid power plants using a hybrid of wind and diesel/gas energy generation. South Australia-based Remotenergy, which is headed up by Barrie Harrop as executive chairman, says it will combine wind energy and its eponymous hybrid remotenergy technology, integrating “fast, very efficient” gas or diesel engines to deliver continuous, spike-free energy in remote locations (wind willing). The company says this technology can reduce diesel fuel consumption by up to 75 per cent and significantly cut CO2 emissions. The company’s website suggests it will be targeting, initially, the resources industry, with a focus on “taking care of energy and water security on fully serviced long-term contracts [energy and water take-off agreements]… allowing mining corporations to focus on their core business.”