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Chena Hot Springs hosts annual Renewable Energy Fair

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 4:43 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Chena Hot Springs Resort hosted its annual Renewable Energy Fair on Sunday, August 15.

Guest speakers included Governor Mike Dunleavy, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm

Bernie Karl, owner of the resort, gave opening remarks explaining that attendees were “going to learn about how we can all help make the future better for all of us, especially for our grandkids, their grandkids, and their grandkids.”

The fair, held since 2006, celebrated its 15th year.

According to Senator Lisa Murkowski, the event raises awareness in Washington, D.C. of what Alaska has to offer the nation’s energy. She said, “We’ve seen that play out whether it’s through opportunities for grants through the Department of Energy, [or] whether it’s initiatives that we’re able to advance through legislation at the policy level.”

The focus of the day was on geothermal energy, specifically a project to tap the potential of the Makushin volcano on Unalaska Island.

About the event, Murkowski said, “It’s really about allowing folks on the outside, if you will, an opportunity to see the level of innovation that takes place when you’re in a high-cost energy environment. When you have to figure things out on your own, and you don’t sit around and wait for the government to be the answer, you bring the answers to the government.”

Murkowski and her guest Granholm also visited the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility. “Alaska has so much to offer, and to teach the rest of the country about renewable energy, about various types of clean energy technologies,” Granholm said.

She also said President Biden’s goal is to increase renewable energy in the U.S. and to export it abroad. “We want to make sure that the U.S. takes advantage of this $23 trillion global market, that we’re not just standing by and allowing our economic competitors to take advantage of it, but that we’re doing it, that we are building these products, that we are stamping them ‘Made in America.’”

According to Murkowski, the potential for renewable energy in Alaska knows no bounds. “Alaska is blessed with extraordinary resources, and extraordinary renewable resources. We have some of everything, and a lot of most things, and so when you think about the opportunity for geothermal, for hydro, what we have with biomass, what we have with wind and solar, our opportunities with tidal and marine hydrokinetic, we’re the envy of the world, really, when you think about what we have in the abundance.”

On Monday, August 16, Murkowski and Granholm continued their Alaska tour down in Anchorage.

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