Yesterday the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Senate leadership and the California Energy Commission gathered together with journalists and over 100 people on the Capitol steps for a clean tech exposition to celebrate the growth of California’s clean tech industry through partnership with the U.S. Navy.
For years California’s legislature and the CEC have worked to provide funding for research and development of new fuel sources through AB 118 funds and federal funding. The expo featured the success stories of companies that received seed funding and have now developed commercially viable large scale biofuel and alternative energy products. Together these companies have hundreds of patents and provide thousands of jobs here in California. “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,” said California Energy Commission Chair Bob Weisenmiller.
The Navy has set aggressive goals to reduce energy consumption and increase the use of alternative energy and fuels. By 2020 the Navy in California will use 50 percent less energy overall and half of its installations will achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions through the use of energy conservation and renewable energy sources. The Secretary of the Navy has affirmed that energy security increases national security and saves taxpayers money. Providing local energy sources keeps troops on mission and reduces their exposure while protecting supply lines. The Navy can save money on its fuel budget through energy efficiency measures and by using new, cost effective biofuels. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil equals an additional $1.3 billion to its annual energy bill.
To help meet these goals the Navy has partnered with California and utilized the products of local companies like Solazyme, BioDeco, Borego Solar, and Sun Power to fuel its jets and power its bases.
The expo was part of Sacramento Navy Week, and included a presentation of a Senate Resolution to recognize the Navy for its contributions to California. (By Holly W. Roberson)