Research Matters No. 106: Energy Costs and Rural Alaska Out-Migration
- April 7, 2017 By:unknown
Does expensive home-heating fuel cause people to move out of rural Alaska communities and into urban areas? Yes, but not as many as some anecdotal reports might lead you to expect. Matthew Berman, professor of economics at ISER, just completed the first study to use statistical testing to assess whether high fuel prices prompt people to leave rural communities. The research was funded by the Alaska Energy Authority.
Using data from adult Permanent Dividend applications for 2003 through 2015, the author found: more....
Hydro Project on Snow River Prompts concerns from area redicents
- April 17, 2017 By: Mike Ross and Dan Carpenter
A proposed hydroelectric project on the Snow River on the Kenai Peninsula, that would include three dams, was the subject of public meetings Monday.
Chugach Electric Association was granted a preliminary permit by the Federal Energy Regulator Commission on March 22 to study the feasibility of the project, which FERC says would use 15,957 acres of land owned by the U.S. Forest Service north of the city of Seward.
On its website, Chugach Electric wrote, "This application to FERC is an initial step in a project that could take up to 10 years to complete. Chugach is exploring the options at Snow River as the project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a stable, sustainable power supply for many generations of Alaskans." more....
Advocates push to move biomass up the menu of renewable options
- April 17, 2017 By: Leila Kheiry, KRBD-Ketchikan
Ketchikan hosted the annual Alaska Wood Energy Conference last week, where participants heard about how biomass works in different places, and how to make the technology more known, and eventually less expensive to install and operate.
Biomass is ancient.
Humans have been burning wood to produce heat and light for thousands of years; but new technology has turned that ancient energy source into low-emission fuel that fits nicely on the menu of renewable energy options. more....
Changes at Anchorage operation won't hurt rural utilities, AEA says
- April 10, 2017 By: Elwood Brehmer
Rural utility operators are worried changes to how the Alaska Energy Authority handles their powerhouse projects will hurt the reliability of electrical service in communities across the state, but AEA officials say the fears are the result of a simple misunderstanding.
The usually quiet public testimony portion of the authority’s March 30 board of directors meeting was dominated by utility managers and local government administrators from small bush communities pleading with AEA directors to not close the authority’s north Anchorage warehouse. more.....
New Alaska handbook provides how-to on heated greenhouses
- May12, 2017 By:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Cold-climate greenhouses have long been an option for increasing the limited growing season in Alaska, where fresh produce is a rarity in a harsh environment. But for many remote communities that rely on costly imported diesel fuel for their power source, they’re too expensive to operate.
Now, the state has released a handbook that shows schools and community groups how to build greenhouses heated with a plentiful local resource: wood.
Biomass success stories shared from Galena, Ketchikan, Tanana
- April 20, 2017 By: Leila Kheiry
It’s great to talk about biomass as a renewable energy source, but how does it work in real-world situations? During last week’s Alaska Wood Energy Conference in Ketchikan, participants heard three “case studies” from communities in Alaska that have invested in biomass.
Galena is a small village about 300 miles west of Fairbanks. It gets cold there in the winter – like negative-40 cold – so heat is pretty important.
Their big industry is education. Galena is home to a regional boarding school on the site of a former U.S. Air Force base. Tim Kalke is a teacher at that school, and worked on plans to improve the heating system for the 14-building Galena Interior Learning Academy. more....