April 28, 2021 Read More →

Oil and gas-rich Alaska seeking renewable alternatives to fossil fuels

KCAW Radio:

Concerns around energy independence and high costs have led many places in rural Alaska to look for renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. The Department of Energy recently announced the awardees of a new program to help remote communities find clean energy solutions. The Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project or ETIPP will help five Alaska towns explore everything from hybrid fishing vessels to reducing reliance on diesel.

Electric vehicle use is on the rise in Alaska, particularly in Southeast, where many communities rely on renewable hydropower. Electric buses are hitting the streets in Juneau and Tok. And states like Washington are exploring electric ferries as a way to save money and reduce carbon footprints.

But what about fishing boats?

“There really is not much going on in the commercial fishing fleet as far as exploring alternatives to diesel-powered vessels,” said Linda Behnken, executive director of the Sitka-based Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association or ALFA.

That’s why they applied for the federal Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project or ETIPP. Over the next year, the pilot project will connect 11 remote communities around the country with national experts to help solve their energy issues. 

[Erin McKinstry]

More: New federal program to help remote Alaska communities with renewable energy infrastructure

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