A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, “Solar Energy Prospecting in Remote Alaska: An Economic Analysis of Solar Photovoltaics in the Last Frontier State,” focuses on two of the most pressing issues for remote Alaska Native villages: reducing or stabilizing the unsustainably high cost of diesel generation, and providing reliable and resilient energy in areas that lack infrastructure. The analysis, conducted by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, finds that solar could be an affordable option to reduce diesel fuel usage in certain locations throughout Alaska.

Key facts:

  • Alaska has more than 175 remote village populations that rely almost exclusively on diesel fuel for electricity generation and heating oil for heat.
  • Electricity generated by diesel fuel in some rural Alaskan villages can cost $1.00 per kilowatt-hour or more, which is more than eight times the national average.
  • 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.
  • The 11 villages included in this analysis are Adak, Ambler, Anaktuvuk Pass, Hughes, Kasigluk, Shungnak, St. Paul, Tenakee Springs, Venetie, Yakutat, and Wainwright.

Download the full report below.