Social Innovation: The U.S. Navy's 'Great Green Fleet' Sets Sail

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Social Innovation: The U.S. Navy's 'Great Green Fleet' Sets Sail

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"The U.S. government hopes can show that its #Navy looks '#green.'" http://bit.ly/MkK7Ar @Justmeans #energy #biofuel
Monday, July 16, 2012 - 1:10pm

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The U.S. Navy's Henry J Kaiser, a social innovation oiler like no other, cast its anchor away at the end of June, heading toward the central Pacific carrying approximately 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power fighter jets, destroyers and the cruisers. The Navy has called this the 'great green fleet' as it's the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels.

This July is the first time these traditional-powered aircrafts and ships will use this social innovation blend of biofuel during the 20-nation Rim of the Pacific exercise, which, in layman's terms, is the world's biggest annual international maritime warfare manoeuvres. It is a six-week exercise initiative that the U.S. government hopes can show that its Navy looks 'green.'

However, this exercise has not gone without criticism. Some Republicans have pounced on this new fuel's price, which is $26 a gallon compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel. They say that this social innovation programme is a waste of valuable funds and over-priced at a time when the U.S. government's budget is over-stretched and is facing cuts. Plus, the President's critics say it's an opportunity for the White House to push green energy policies that don't make economic sense. They further support their argument by saying that they do not believe it's the Navy's job to be involved in creating new technologies as it cannot afford to do so.

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Sangeeta Haindl is a staff writer for Justmeans on Social Enterprise. When not writing for Justmeans, Sangeeta wears her other hat as a PR professional. Over the years, she has worked with high-profile organizations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from her industry. She now runs her own UK consultancy: Serendipity PR & Media.

Keywords: Energy | Cause Global | Environment | Innovation & Technology | Social investment | best practices | funding | social innovation

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