Formed in 2004, REAP is a non-profit education and advocacy group that includes a diverse coalition of urban and rural Alaska electric utilities, businesses, conservation organizations, consumer groups, Alaska Native organizations, and municipal, state and federal entities that all share the goal of developing Alaska’s vast renewable energy resources.
REAP believes that, for economic and environmental reasons, Alaska, the United States and the planet will benefit greatly from the rapid development of renewable energy resources and that Alaska can and should be a leader in such development. REAP promotes renewable energy development and policies that encourage energy efficiency.
Last November, Facebook made headlines when it announced plans to build a $760 million internet server farm in Lulea, Sweden. The cold climate was a factor since all those machines need to be kept cool. But access to long-term, stably priced energy from hydropower was critical. Server farms use a huge amount of energy – as much worldwide as some small countries – and knowing that its cost for energy would stay stable for the long-term played a major role in the social media giant’s decision.
In Alaska we are home to vast supplies of energy, yet we have communities that pay some of the highest energy prices in the country. In some rural villages, residents pay more than five times the national average for electricity.