Alaska Releases Energy Guide, Sets Renewable Energy Goal

January 19, 2009

On January 16, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced the release of an energy guide that identifies energy options for the state. In a region where residents rely heavily on diesel generators, the guide aims to help Alaskans reduce their use of diesel and reach a goal of generating 50 percent of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

The Alaska Energy Authority, led by energy coordinator Steve Haagenson, published the guide, entitled Alaska Energy—A First Step Toward Energy Independence. The guide identifies and prioritizes energy projects, discusses necessary legal and government policies to enable the projects; and identifies potential funding sources. The guide calls for Alaskans, the legislature, local and regional governments, the University of Alaska, and the private sector to work together to reach the 2025 goal.

The guide offers options for generating electricity and heat through the use of locally available resources. Depending on a community's location, the choices include upgrading old diesel engines to models that are more efficient and employ heat recovery technology, and hydroelectric, wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar power. The guide also examines nonrenewable sources, including coal and natural gas, for comparison. In addition, it provides information on less developed renewable technologies such as in-stream hydrokinetic power, which could be used in rivers, tidal areas, and ocean currents, and fuel cells.

"While lower crude oil prices are reducing the costs of energy today, we must remain committed to achieving energy security for our future economic well-being," Palin said.

For more information, see the governor's January 16 press release and the guide (PDF 34 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Alaska, see: