Local residents lead the change to more renewable energy in the Arctic
Isolated communities across the Arctic are looking at relying more on renewable energy. A new program aimed at helping rural areas make that transition is starting this month. Instead of bringing in experts, Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy, or ARENA, is relying on local residents to lead the change.
George Roe says ARENA is largely a knowledge sharing program focused on rural areas with remote energy networks, or micro-grids as he likes to call them.
“The idea of learning from one another, asking each other questions, brainstorming. Because when you’re in the same space, you have great things to share with one another,” Roe said.
Roe works for the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The arctic academy will appoint 20 fellows and is endorsed under the Arctic Council’s sustainable development working group. In between the in-person meetings and visits to several Arctic countries, participants will work with mentors and each other on renewable energy projects.