Alaska Renewable Energy Fair Explores Alaska’s Options 

By Sara Bernard | Alaska Public Radio Network: Tidal power, wave, wind and solar: there’s no lack of options when it comes to renewable energy in Alaska. To participants at the Alaska Renewable Energy Fair on the Anchorage Park Strip last weekend, Alaska may be one of the best places on the planet to develop some of these ideas.

Renewable energy isn’t just about wind turbines and solar panels and biodiesel. It’s also, according to Renewable Energy Alaska Project executive director Chris Rose, about economics.

“The state of Alaska, cumulatively, all of us, we’re spending about 6 billion dollars a year on energy,” Rose says. “We have some of the highest energy costs in the country. So one of the advantages Alaska has in some ways is that we’ve got such high energy prices that we’re a great place to put in some of these emerging technologies, like tidal and wave, because we can save people money almost immediately.”

Rose says the Alaska Renewable Energy Fair, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year, is a way to get people to think about all that — about energy consumption and energy costs, no matter the source.

“The event is an opportunity for Alaskans to come and learn about energy,” Rose says. “It’s not just renewable energy, but where does energy come from? The implications of all our energy systems and our choices. Of course, we really focus a lot on renewable energy and energy efficiency, since that’s what we’re promoting and educating people about, but really, we’re trying to give people context for all of the energy decisions that they make.”


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