Introduction to Energy Research in Alaska

Alaska Center for Energy and Power identified three research needs in its "Alaska Energy Research Needs" report (2010):

Critical Research Focus #1: "Research centered on export opportunities for fossil energy resources. This includes the interests of international energy market players concerned with developing large scale oil, gas, and coal resources in the state. Many of these organizations have their own research capabilities, but input from state agencies and university research may help make them aware of opportunities in Alaska."

Critical Research Focus #2: "Research focused on the energy needs of the Railbelt region, especially the need for replacing the energy supplied by the declining Cook Inlet gas fields. Estimating future energy needs and determining the best future energy sources is a priority for Alaska State agencies including the Alaska Energy Authority and the state Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas, but decisions with respect to investments will be made by the state legislature."

Critical Research Focus #3: "Research focused on the energy needs of rural Alaskan communities, which are strongly dependent on imported diesel and heating fuels. Energy costs in many of these communities are an increasing burden for residents and businesses, as well as to the state which subsidizes some of these costs. Locally available alternatives may be available in at least some communities at lower cost, but research and demonstration of these technologies is required before mass deployments occur. The Alaska Energy Authority, the University of Alaska, and numerous public and private organizations active in rural Alaska are among those currently conducting this research."

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