Improving the Delivery of Renewable Energy in Alaska

Challenge:

Home to just 0.3% of the US population, yet covering more than 16% of its landmass, Alaska is increasingly looking to renewable energy to bring greater price stability and diversity to its power supply.

Since 2008, the Alaska Renewable Energy Grant Recommendation Program (REGRP) has provided assistance to utilities, independent power producers, and local and tribal governments for the development of renewable energy projects. In 2011, the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) retained VEIC to conduct an independent program review of the REGRP. 

Solution:

VEIC conducted a thorough review of the program and developed key metrics for evaluating the implementation process and impacts of renewable energy projects in Alaska.

Partnering with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), VEIC gathered feedback from more than 182 stakeholders representing 45 entities. VEIC used this primary research in developing process and impact evaluations to help the REGRP strengthen program services and spread the benefits more broadly. The evaluations spanned several technologies—wind, solar, hydro/marine, heat recovery, geothermal, and biomass—and explored energy savings, avoided emissions, and the costs and benefits of REGRP-supported projects.

Results:

  • The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) has increased the deployment of renewable energy to target communities.
  • The Alaskan legislature is better informed about the benefits, challenges, and opportunities for renewable energy development.
  • The AEA is able to assess the efficiency of the REGRP in meeting the needs of Alaskans.
  • The AEA now uses quantitative and qualitative metrics to determine project-by-project cost-effectiveness, including energy production and project benefits.