Alaska has chance to capture winds of change, experts say
June 19, 2010
From Rhonda McBride at KTUU-TV: Alaska generates about 24 percent of its electricity from renewable energy, but a new law signed by Gov. Sean Parnell this week sets a goal of doubling that percentage by 2025. Can we do it? And is it worth it? Those are questions being asked at a Business of Clean Energy conference being held in Anchorage’s Dena’ina Center this week.
“It’s really a time to be thinking big, and it’s a time to be creative and a time to get this to scale,” said Joel Makower, executive editor of green.biz.com.
Makower certainly sounds like an Alaskan, but his website is based in Oakland, Calif., one of the magnet cities for America’s green revolution. He says Alaska could be on the map, but first Alaskans have to ask themselves a simple question: What would it take?
“A lot of it has to do with willpower, and vision and leadership — because ultimately, that’s what it takes,” Makower said.
There are signs that those ingredients are present at the conference. The Kodiak Electric Association has one of the biggest success stories in Alaska: its Pillar Mountain wind farm, which generates about 9 percent of Kodiak’s electricity since coming on line in 2009. That’s saved about 830,000 gallons of diesel fuel — at $3 a gallon, a savings of about $2.4 milion. Read more