Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference gets underway in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The inaugural Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference got underway at the Dena’ina Center on Tuesday.
The three-day conference advertises itself as taking a big picture look at the future of energy in Alaska and across the globe.
The first day of the conference focused on distributed energy resources such as solar panels or wind turbines that create energy close to where it’s needed, highlighted by the numerous keynote speakers.
“Here in Alaska, it’s its own entity completely,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said “When it comes to energy, it’s by far — in my opinion and I think in the opinions of others — it’s an energy giant.”
Former Democratic Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter spoke about the global energy transition, to shift consumption from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Ritter founded the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University which connects policymakers and experts.
“I believe that states are at the heart of being able to manage the energy transitions that are happening or going to happen in this country,” Ritter said. “Alaska is a state that has so much promise, and so much opportunity to be part of a decarbonized energy economy.”
Other notable keynote speakers included the former U.S. Energy Secretary and Republican Governor of Texas Rick Perry, who urged for more energy-friendly policies.
“We need our elected officials to pursue policies that expand domestic production, create opportunity, and reduce prices,” Perry said.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards spoke virtually. At the end of the conference on Tuesday, Dunleavy signed Senate Bill 177 which encourages the use of micro-reactors. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is scheduled as a keynote speaker on Wednesday.
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