A Hearing In Alaska Today Is Sure To Be Full of Hot Air

A Hearing In Alaska Today Is Sure To Be Full of Hot Air

April 4, 2024

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be presenting its 2024 study, titled “Achieving an 80% Renewable Portfolio in Alaska’s Railbelt: Cost Analysis” in the Alaska Legislature’s House Special Committee on Energy this morning.

The NREL will make the dubious claim that Alaska can – with little risk – achieve an 80% renewable energy mix in Alaska’s Railbelt region by 2040.  That swath of land, nearly 500 miles long, is bordered by Fairbanks in the North and Homer in the South, is home to over 75% of Alaska’s population.

NREL’s study authors may be book smart, but they lie somewhere between naïve and street stupid when it comes to the realities of Alaska’s grid.

Southcentral Alaska’s residents and business owners remember clearly the last week of January, 2024, when temperatures dipped into the mid -20s in Anchorage and neared -50 in parts of the Mat-Su Valley.  The wind and solar mix that NREL says can be nearly 65% of the solution by 2040 produced enough output to power less than 800 homes on average that week.  If we’d been reliant on wind and solar that week, we’d have had unimaginable property loss, as well as untold fatalities.

But NREL’s report suggests moving from 2% of a non-workable solution to nearly 33 times that percentage represents little risk? 

Color us less than convinced.

Power The Future will continue to advocate for energy solutions that make sense for Alaska.  For decades to come, that’s one based on natural gas and coal, and not on the false “science” and hype around intermittent, risky, wind and solar “solutions”.