Alaskans now can look at what is believed to be every substantial energy source in the state.
The Alaska Energy Authority and the Department of Natural Resources today released a 144-page study by the state’s Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys that shows information currently available from across the state on sites containing usable quantities of fossil fuels and geothermal energy . It joins two other volumes published by the Energy Authority that show likely sources of renewable energy that could be used by communities.
DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan said the publications are a tool for communities that now face very high energy costs.
Typically as we’ve been looking in the state, we look to the North Slope in terms of Prudhoe Bay. We look to Cook Inlet. And those are very well-known hydrocarbon basins. But the state has resources in terms of fossil fuels in almost every different part of the state. And we think what is very important is to lay out where and what those resources are.
Sullivan says the information is part of what communities, native corporations and regional planners will need for local development – calling it a book of possibilities, not answers.
State Geologist Bob Swenson said he was surprised by data showing considerable geothermal resources in the Aleutians – and a very large coal deposit near Kotzebue. He said the best use of the report is to remove guesswork from plans.
This is not meant to replace anything. If the best, most economic resource is renewable by all means that is definitely what the community should go after and do. What’s really important to make that analysis is to have the realistic information for you to make the analysis.