Air Force making progress on alternative fuels

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein
  • Air Force Print News
The Air Force is embracing an energy strategy that uses alternative sources of power and conservation, Undersecretary of the Air Force Dr. Ron Sega told a group of civilian energy engineers during a World Energy Engineers Congress luncheon Sept. 15. 

"I think we're making progress, but we certainly need your help and we look forward to increasing partnerships and taking advantage of the good ideas and products you are developing," he said.

The undersecretary said energy is an important topic to Air Force leaders, as the service alone consumes about half the fuel purchased by the U.S. government.

"It's important to us to pay attention to this issue," he said.

Dr. Sega pointed out the great strides the Air Force has made toward fuel and energy conservation.  In fiscal 2005, the service was the largest buyer of renewable energy in the country.

"I'm proud to say the Air Force is a leader in the use of alternative fuels and renewable energy sources," he said.

Dr. Sega said the test flight of a B-52 Stratofortress, in which two of the bomber's eight engines used a fuel that was almost 50 percent synthetic, was a first for the Air Force.

Dr. Sega said four Air Force installations currently are meeting 100 percent their electrical energy needs from renewable energy sources, and cited other ongoing energy conservation efforts:

--At Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., officials will use a solar farm to provide the base with some of its energy needs.

--At F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., officials will get additional power from a wind farm.

--And At Hill AFB, Utah, base officials have used land gas production as an alternative source of energy since 1994.

Dr. Sega said that whether it is conserving fuel on the flightline or building more energy efficient buildings, the Air Force is working to use energy better and at less cost to taxpayers.

"At every level, we are encouraging our Airmen and civilians to adopt energy-efficient habits," he said. "That could be something as simple as turning off the lights of the office and the computer screen at the end of the day. So with everything we do, we are looking at energy as an important consideration."