History, Goals and Accomplishments
REAP was formed in 2004 by Executive Director Chris Rose with the goal of promoting the use of renewable energy in Alaska. It has since grown to include more than 80 organizational and contributing members representing a diverse coalition of small and large Alaska electric utilities, environmental groups, consumer groups, businesses, Alaska Native organizations, and municipal, state and federal entities. REAP was Alaska’s first and remains its only education and advocacy group focused solely on renewable energy. Over the last nine years, it has become an important voice on both renewable energy and energy efficiency.
REAP’s primary goal is to increase the production of renewable energy in Alaska and bring the benefits of clean, economic and inexhaustible renewable power to the citizens of Alaska. REAP also promotes energy efficiency, and conservation as a way to reduce residents’ energy bills and potentially avoid construction of expensive new power plants.
In support of its goals, REAP hosts a wide variety of educational events, including the Alaska Renewable Energy Fair, the Business of Clean Energy in Alaska Conference and monthly forums on a wide range of renewable energy topics. REAP also actively works to educate lawmakers about the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and Executive Director Chris Rose is often asked to testify at legislative hearings about renewable energy and energy efficiency. He serves on several energy-related state committees and advisory groups.
State Energy Policy and State Omnibus Energy Bill: REAP played an integral role in 2010 in the passage of two energy laws critical to ensuring Alaskans have a steady, long-term supply of energy at stable prices. REAP served on a 16-member citizen stakeholder group that helped craft House Bill 306, a statewide energy policy that set goals of 50% by 2025 of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources, and 15% by 2020 to improve energy efficiency on a per capita basis. REAP also was integral to the passsage of SB 220, an omnibus energy bill that creates the policies and programs to help Alaska achieve these goals. Among other things, SB 220, creates an Emerging Energy Technology Fund to fund emerging technologies, sets up a $250 million low-interest revolving loan fund to fund energy efficiency improvements in public buildings, and mandates energy efficiency energy efficiency retrofits in 25% of the largest public buildings by 2020. More information on these laws can be found here
Wind for Schools: Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) is the State Facilitator for the Wind for Schools program in Alaska, and successfully led the effort, along with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, to have Alaska added in 2010 to the list of 11 states accepted to this national program.
Renewable Energy Grant Fund: REAP helped craft and find sponsors for House Bill 152 which resulted in the creation of the Alaska Renewable Energy Grant Fund and state appropriations of $150 million since 2008 for renewable energy projects. REAP Executive Director Chris Rose was also appointed by the Governor to serve on the state’s Renewable Energy Grant Fund Advisory Committee, which helps the Alaska Energy Authority recommend projects for funding to the state legislature.
Energy Efficiency: In April 2008, the legislature passed Senate Bill 289, which committed $360 million to energy efficiency programs in the state. (That compares to approximately $150 million spent cumulatively by the state between 1980 and 2008). REAP has made educating lawmakers on the merits of energy efficiency a priority.
Alaska Renewable Energy Fair: In 2005, REAP decided to create a renewable energy event that would bring together a myriad of speakers, vendors, organizations and government entities, all with an interest in renewable energy. The result was the Alaska Renewable Energy Fair, held annually in downtown Anchorage. Now in its 6th year, the event attracts thousands of members of the public each year and has featured several prominent speakers, including former CIA Director James Woolsey, former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and Iowa Gov. Chet Culver. The Fair offers a fun atmosphere that includes music, food and crafts with educational workshops on renewable energy and energy efficiency. It also features a wide range of vendors from installers of residential renewable energy systems to informational booths staffed by state and federal agencies.
Business of Clean Energy in Alaska Conference: This annual event, hosted by REAP, debuted in 2009. The conference attracted more than 230 paid participants and a wide variety of experts from across the United States. Its goal is to show the business community and policy leaders that Alaska has “first mover” advantage in some areas of renewable energy that can help the state build and diversify its economy.
Renewable Energy Atlas: REAP, in cooperation with the state Alaska Energy Authority in 2006, published the first ever comprehensive atlas detailing Alaska’s renewable energy resources, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, biomass, and tidal. The report, which also includes information on existing renewable energy projects in Alaska, has been updated twice and more than 22,000 copies have been distributed statewide.