Summary of proposals submitted under the first round of the
Alaska Renewable Energy Fund (2009). This does not include round 2 proposals.
In the last couple of years, attention to energy issues has increased significantly with the dramatic increase in world oil prices, which has simultaneously raised the cost of energy use for Alaskans and swelled state coffers with increased petroleum revenues. After peaking at over $140 per barrel in July 2008, prices collapsed to under $50 per barrel by December 2008. While the price decline provides some relief to urban and ice-free areas of the state, it provides no such relief to parts of rural Alaska that were forced to purchase winter fuel before fall freeze-up. For those communities there is no potential relief until the spring of 2009.
In June, 2008, the Cold Climate Housing Research Center published a report outlining energy efficiency measures that can be implemented as part of the State Energy Plan. The report focuses on programs that address end-use energy consumption in space heating and the electrical needs of residential and commercial users, with a focus on the Railbelt. The recommendations are broken into nine categories. For a more detailed description of those recommendations, please see the Alaska Energy Efficiency Program and Policy Recommendations page.
Also in 2008, the Alaska Legislature established the Renewable Energy Grant Program under HB 152, to be administered by the Alaska Energy Authority. The Fund established funding for renewable energy projects over a period of five years at a level of $50 million per year, although each year’s appropriation is subject to legislative approval. In 2009, lawmakers approved $50 million to fund the program during the regular legislation session, and added an additional $50 million during a special session for a total appropriation of $100 million available during Fiscal Year 2009.
House Bill 152 also established a seven member advisory board with a mandate to ‘consult with the Alaska Energy Authority as it develops eligibility criteria for grants from a renewable energy grant fund, develops methodology for determining the order of projects that may receive grants from that fund, and adopts regulations identifying criteria to evaluate the benefit and feasibility of projects seeking legislative support’.
Steps to Successful Implementation of Renewable Energy Grant Fund.
Links and Resources
- Fay, Ginny, Nick Szymoniak, and Alejandra Villalobos-Melendez. Components of Alaska Fuel Costs: An Analysis of the Market Factors and Characteristics that Influence Rural Fuel Prices. Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage. Feb. 17, 2010. From the executive summary: "The Alaska State Senate Finance Committee asked economists at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to investigate rural Alaska fuel markets and identify policy options that could be considered for legislative action to reduce fuel prices. This study is both an update and an evolution of previous ISER Components of Fuel Costs studies. It does not include road-accessible communities."