Alaska's climate, and economy, are changing. The clock is ticking. And despite all odds, there's something the Alaska legislature can realistically do about it. With support from our movement, there are five policies the Legislature could pass in 2023 to make a difference for our climate and help us thrive through the energy transition.
Establish a Green Bank to finance clean energy
Enact a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) would set realistic goals and deadlines for the railbelt utilities from Fairbanks through Homer to achieve a transition to clean energy. The proposed RPS benchmarks are 25% renewable energy by 2027; 55% by 2035; and 80% by 2040. These goals are bare minimums, but they ensure that railbelt utility customers are insulated from volatile fossil fuel prices and our grids will be prepared for Alaska’s next economy.
Pass Community Solar Legislation
Community Solar allows communities and individuals to come together and purchase solar arrays. These communal arrays are often larger than home solar arrays, but smaller than commercial setups. People can purchase shares in these arrays, making solar more accessible and affordable. Community Solar puts the power in the hands of communities and individuals to make decisions about where their energy comes from. The Legislature has the opportunity to pass Community Solar Legislation this year.
Extend The Renewable Energy Fund (REF) to keep powering Alaska's next economy
Since 2008, the REF has invested $282 million in AlaskaAlaskan non-profit utilities, resulting in 95+ operational projects and $158M in matching funds. But the REF is due to expire in 2023 without a legislative extension. The legislature needs to extend this critical program for another ten years and increase REF's appropriation, so it can invest at the scale our communities need.