The U.S. Navy is embarking on a larger-scale replacement of petroleum fuels for day-to-day mission use as biofuels technologies advance, making biofuels more economic. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded four companies with contracts to produce a total of 170 million gallons of drop-in, military-compatible biofuels, with production starting in 2016. The companies agreed to supply biofuels at a price “well below” $4 per gallon. The Navy currently pays an average of $3.73 for petroleum-based fuel. These biofuels supplies are expected to generate 50-90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The biofuel purchases represent an important precursor to Navy’s goal to power the entire Navy carrier strike group, including its aviation assets, by alternative energy by 2016. According to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, this goal, dubbed “Great Green Fleet”, is intended to be the start of Navy’s “new normal.” “We’re not just doing this for the Great Green Fleet or to meet our 2020 goals. We will have [cost-competitive] biofuel annexes in our regular, operational fuel, solicitation all the time.” Read more at Federal News Radio.