Advanced biofuel companies have made significant investments and progress to meet the Navy’s goals for the Great Green Fleet, a project that is vital to U.S. energy and national security. The Biotechnology Industry Organization today commended its member company Solazyme for its participation in the project to fuel the first scheduled demonstration of the Great Green Fleet this summer at the Rim of the Pacific Exercises.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated, “Achieving energy security is also a national security priority. The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest consumers of U.S. transportation fuel, and it is as vulnerable to oil price volatility as the average U.S. consumer. As Congress and the administration have sought to trim federal spending this year, the military has had to ask several times to reprogram budget dollars to pay for increased fuel costs. Advanced biofuels companies have made significant private investments to accelerate research and development of alternatives to foreign oil that can reduce the military’s reliance on foreign oil.
“The Navy set 2012 as a milestone for the first demonstration of the Great Green Fleet. The contract announced today will provide advanced biofuels for that demonstration. Continued progress on the Navy’s timeline will require capital investment in multiple production facilities. Congressional approval of FY2012 authorizations for the joint Navy, USDA and DOE memorandum of understanding is needed to assist companies in raising the capital for these production facilities.
“Advanced biofuels represent the best option for meeting military needs. Strategically located biorefineries can be established in locations such as Hawaii or anywhere in the United States, making use of local feedstocks to produce sustainable biofuels for the military. These biorefineries would increase the military’s ability to operate where needed while limiting the number of combat forces needed to protect supply lines, becoming important force multipliers.”