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US Navy works with industry to explore alternative fuel sources

The US Navy cites the potential for hybrid power like that employed by the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) is working with industry to develop other potential sources of fuel as well as possible alternative modes of power, according to Meredith Berger, acting assistant secretary of the navy for energy, installations, and environment.

“We are working with industry on what other types of low-emissions fuel-energy types are out there,” Berger said on 23 May during a media roundtable discussion of the USN's “Climate Action 2030” plan, which was released on 24 May.

She described such work as being in the “survey stage” and noted the “driving element”, always, would be the impact on the USN and US Marine Corps (USMC) to “make mission”.

Berger also added that the USN was successful with hybrid-electric ship propulsion plant efforts, with vessels like Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). “But there's also a lot of development to do in terms of technology.”

She added, “Whether we use [hybrid power plants] to turn the ship, or for weapons, we have to make sure we are creating flexibility, because that makes us better warfighters, able to do more with less. We see a lot of potential; we are contemplating more of these energy-efficient drives.”

Such innovation is only part of the USN's planned efforts to address climate impacts, as detailed in the “Climate Action 2030”.

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