11 September 2015

Alaska’s wind power increased 20 fold between 2007 and 2014

Wind power capacity in Alaska increased 20 fold between 2007 and 2014, from 3 megawatts to 60 megawatts, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Alaska is renowned for its significant oil reserves but the state boosted its wind energy capacity using a mix of utility-scale and distributed small-scale projects.

The increase is particularly notable because Alaska's immense area and sparse population make expanding the grid and adapting it to renewables costly.

The terrain also poses significant challenges for installing utility-scale wind farms.

In the states’ most remote areas, the cost of building transmission lines is prohibitively high, so small-scale and household wind projects have been introduced to deliver renewable energy to consumers who previously used diesel generators to cover their energy requirements.

Despite the vast growth in wind power capacity, Alaska drew only 3 per cent of its energy from wind sources in 2014.

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