• Renewable Power in Rural Alaska: Improved Opportunities for Economic Deployment

      Crimp, Peter; Colt, Steve; Foster, Mark (2007)
      Sharp increases in the price of distillate fuel have led to wider economic opportunities for local renewable energy resources in the over 180 rural Alaskan communities that are served by electrical microgrids isolated from larger population centers. Between 2002 and 2007 the median price of diesel fuel for utility power generation in rural Alaska increased by 72% to $0.71/l ($2.70/gal). During this period the median unsubsidized residential cost of power increased by 20% to $0.468/kWh. The Alaska Rural Energy Plan, based on 2002 fuel costs, indicated widespread opportunities for cost-saving measures from end use efficiency, diesel generation efficiency, diesel combined heat and power, and wind energy. This paper assesses economics of small hydroelectric, wind-diesel, and biomass-fired combined heat and power under a range of future oil price assumptions.
    • Village Wind Diesel Hydrogen Report

      Gilbert, Steve; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      The cost of energy in hub and satellite villages has long been a major contributor to the cost of living in rural Alaska. Wind energy currently displaces a portion of the diesel fuel used for power generation in 5 Alaskan villages; Kotzebue, Selawick, Tooksook Bay, Wales and Saint Paul Island. Numerous other villages are being considered as potential sites for integration of wind generation into the diesel electric system. Wind diesel electric systems are showing promise as sources of long term flat priced electricity for village power needs. Since the price of wind doesn’t change the cost of the wind generated component of electricity is not subject to fuel price volatility. As with any renewable energy the upfront capital cost is higher than diesel engines. Wind diesel alone however, does not address the broader energy needs of rural communities. Fuels such as gasoline, diesel and heating oil have to be transported to the village. This report explores the potential of using wind to produce hydrogen for transportation and heating fuels at a small, 400 person and large, 4000 person village.