Energy Stakeholders Share Ideas and Information at Alaska Rural Energy Conference

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Governor Bill Walker spoke at the Alaska Rural Energy Conference this morning at the Westmark, as well as City Mayor Jim Matherly and Borough Mayor Karl Kassel. Energy stakeholders from around the state came to share ideas and information about new technologies and energy needs for Alaska's remote communities.

This year's Rural Energy Conference is built around 'innovation, inspiration and opportunity.'
They want to build a better future for today's young people.
When the energy comity for the conference thought about their theme, they decided to get help from students in Alaska.

Katie Conway; Alaska Energy Authority>>"We decided to put out a call to students to answer a question, 'What do you want your community's energy system to look like when you're 50 years old?' And what they ended up producing was an incredible vision of what Alaska's energy future can look like."

All of the drawings incorporated themes of renewable energies, using local resources and eliminating dependence on fossil fuels. From that, organizers based the three day forum on environmental sustainability, economic development and energy security.

Mayor Karl Kassel; Fairbanks North Star Borough>>"Well energy is one of the most important topics in our community, both from a cost perspective and an environmental perspective. And so looking at all the opportunities we have in front of us is very important. Fairbanks is really a hot bed of innovation and development because of our, not only our high costs but our high use of energy in our cold climate. And so we're really a focal point at look at different solutions to energy issues here in Fairbanks."

Mayor Kassel and other energy stakeholders heard from experts. It's not too late to join the conference to learn about energy technology and innovation.

Mayor Karl Kassel; Fairbanks North Star Borough>>"People should definitely be here and understand what opportunities are available and who in Fairbanks is working on these different projects. It'll save them money and open a lot of doors and improve our communities all across Alaska."

Reporting from the Alaska Rural Energy Conference, I'm Katie Luper.