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Podcast Highlights Solar Energy Potential in Alaska

Solar-Prospecting-AK-final.jpgThe 2016 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy report “Solar Energy Prospecting in Remote Alaska: An Economic Analysis of Solar Photovoltaics in the Last Frontier State” was featured in a recent Yale Climate Connections podcast entitled “Solar Even In Alaska: Really? Really!” The story focuses on a key finding highlighted in the report—that it can make economic sense for certain diesel-dependent remote Alaskan villages to make the switch to solar along with other electricity-saving measures.

“Using solar energy in Alaska may seem like a far-fetched idea to many readers initially,” said report author Paul Schwabe, a senior finance analyst at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “There were some understandably skeptical responses around the amount of sunlight received in Alaska, which varies significantly geographically and by the time of year.”

But according to the report, Alaska’s solar resource is comparable to that of Germany, which leads the world in solar installations with roughly two average-sized 250-Watt solar photovoltaic panels for every person in the country.

"In a land of dark winters, solar is not the most obvious choice," said the podcast’s narrator, Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "But this darkness is offset by the amount of sunlight Alaska receives in the summer."

Produced by the Yale Center for Environmental Communication, Yale Climate Connections consists of 90-second stories about how people are responding to our warming world. The show airs five days a week on approximately 200 radio stations. Listen to the podcast.

Read more about and download the Solar Energy Prospecting in Remote Alaska report.