A 50-foot wave hits near Gambell, Alaska during Typhoon Merbok.
A 50-foot wave hits the shore near Gambell, Alaska during Typhoon Merbok. Warming Arctic temperatures have been linked to unprecedented storms like this in the region. Photo by Clarence Irrigoo Jr.
Wind turbines dot the landscape in Nome, Alaska.
On a windy day, wind turbines can provide up to 35% of Nome, Alaska's electricity. Increasing renewable energy is a goal for the Port of Nome utility operators.
Courtesy of Nome Joint Utility System.

Arctic challenges that stem from climate changes prompt the need for action. That’s why we developed the new DOE Arctic Strategy, which will serve as our guiding document to accelerate energy transition, enable science-based decision- making, and ensure national security in the Arctic.

It informs the DOE’s engagement in the Arctic due to new resource developments, changed shipping patterns, altered fisheries, and increased tourism. For economic, cultural, environmental, geopolitical, equity, and security reasons, DOE and the nation are committed to science-informed and evidence-based decisions and investments that are essential to the entire region’s future. The DOE Arctic Strategy will be our guide to making those key decisions through three strategic goals:

  1. DOE will lead and partner to advance the decarbonization, resilience, and equity of the Arctic energy sector and broader economy.
  2. DOE will lead and partner to advance the scientific understanding of Arctic challenges.
  3. DOE will lead and partner to ensure Arctic security


A EV truck on the starting line for the Arctic Road Rally with photographers at left.
The all-electric pickups at the starting line for the Arctic Road Rally garnered a lot of attention from the public. Launch Alaska, a DOE funding award recipient, is working to advance electric transportation in the state.
Courtesy Tim Leach of Launch Alaska

Each strategic goal is supported by four objectives, described in detail in the document. The strategy describes cross-cutting, foundational principles that inform all of DOE’s work in the Arctic. In addition to the principles, goals, and objectives, the DOE Arctic Strategy provides the context for DOE Arctic work as part of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region (NSAR) and the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 from the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee.

To accomplish these goals, the Arctic Energy Office is helping DOE program offices and national labs coordinate with Arctic inhabitants, other Federal agencies, state and local organizations, and international partners and allies to understand Arctic challenges, ensure energy equity, and work toward solutions together.

These solutions are urgently needed to address the consequences of flooding from intense storms, high heating oil and diesel costs, and thawing permafrost. The DOE Arctic Strategy is our way of keeping those concerns at the forefront of our everyday activities. It highlights DOE’s work to achieve a just energy transition by catalyzing, supporting, and leveraging private-sector adoption and capacity for secure and sustainable U.S. Arctic interests.

The DOE Arctic Strategy illustrates the breadth of current DOE Arctic work. And it underscores DOE’s commitment to prioritize community-based and place-based solutions as defined by the people of the Arctic. DOE’s guiding principles for Arctic work mesh well with the newly released White House guidance regarding integration of indigenous knowledge into federal research, policy, and decision making.

The Strategy is ambitious, we know. Yet when we engage with Arctic stakeholders in our daily work, we recognize that what matters most is that we do our best to provide an affordable, reliable and equitable energy future. 

Matt Heavner
Dr. Matt Heavner was a Senior Advisor to the Arctic Energy Office from 2020 - 2023. Dr. Heavner joined the Arctic Energy Office with experience from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the University of Alaska Southeast.
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