The Navy is steaming ahead with an initiative to power ships with biofuel, despite criticism the so-called “green fuel” costs nearly seven times more than conventional fuel.

This month marks the first time the Navy is using biofuel in an operational setting — sending five ships to a multi-nation exercise off the coast of Hawaii.

A Navy official told on Monday that sailing the so-called “Great Green Fleet” this month on the 50-50 blend of alternative and conventional fuel is part of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ plan to have half the Navy fleet on alternative fuel by 2020.

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