Defense support for biofuels for aircraft and impact

A Bloombergbusinessweek article (oct 31-Nov 6, pg 44-45) decsribes plans by the navy and Marines to shift 50 % of their fuel to renewbale sources by 2020, the Army 25 % by 2025. Sources include camelina (an oil bearing plant), chicken fat, plant waste etc. In addition to sustianability, security is a reason – with one Marine killed for every 50 fuel or water convoys in Afghanistan.  Once the defense department shifts its $ 14.5 billion spend away from fossil fuels, their decision could bring costs down from $ 10/gallon to $ 4/gallon for commercial uses.  Should the federal govt commit to specific fuel purchases to drive down the costs for the rest of industry ? Should the associated costs to convert aircraft to accomodate these feuls be borne by the manufacturers ? Can shifting to renewable sources, obtained locally, and associated decreased risks for defense personnel in the war theater , provide sufficient justification for such decisions ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Operations Management, Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Defense support for biofuels for aircraft and impact

  1. $14.5 billion is a lot to spend on bringing a fringe fuel to a price that is higher than oil in a commodity market. By 2025 gas will probably be more expensive than $4/gal, but I would assume these prices are time adjusted to today’s money. I mainly wonder how much could the renewable fuel actually supply energy needs (manure is also a candidate for renewable fuel), and what is the impact of taking those sources out of their current cycles?
    I doubt the investment in aircraft development will be borne by the manufacturers. The government will end up paying them to do it, but will that money come out of the $14.5 billion or from somewhere else…

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