Alaska as a Testing Ground for Renewable Energy Initiatives to Reduce Energy Costs in Rural Communities Worldwide

The Center for American Progress (CAP) and Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) co-hosted a high-profile conference in Washington D.C. during May 2012 to address challenges and opportunities for renewable energy initiatives in Alaska.

Both U.S. Senators for Alaska, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mark Begich, were present at the conference to discuss ideas for using rural Alaska as a testing ground for renewable energy projects., while other participants emphasized the urgent need to deal with the rural energy crisis in Alaska.

AFN President Julie Kitka spoke at the conference about how federal dollars that could otherwise help to revitalize rural villages’ economies are largely being spent on costly gas and oil, to the severe disadvantage of indigenous peoples.

“AFN is hoping that the end result of this conference will be a renewed interest in our remote Native villages, and some interest in … helping us transition from old, antiquated energy systems to renewable and affordable energy,” Kitka said.

Read the full report: Challenges & Opportunities for Renewable Energy in Alaska