Recent news the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas has approved the lease of land on Augustine Island for geothermal energy exploration is good news, anyway you want to look at it.
Some consider a gas line off the North Slope the long-term solution to energy needs in Alaska. And we’ve all certainly heard the clamoring about the possibility of immediate gas shortages coming from Cook Inlet.
If we can accomplish both — turn around Cook Inlet production and get a line off the North Slope — they will be solutions for the immediate and near term.
But these things aren’t forever energies. Geothermal is.
Just thinking about the prospect of adding geothermal energy to our portfolio gives us hope — certainly any future project will help secure the state’s energy future, will provide jobs and possibly research data that could be used elsewhere in the state or the nation for that matter.
Moreover, we think it is prudent for our state to not just be a leader in all things oil and gas, but in energies of all colors, shapes and sizes.
An official with a Lower 48 geothermal company told the Clarion his company is confident there are geothermal resources to be found on nearby Mount Spurr, which has had ongoing geothermal testing.
While the first round of that Mount Spurr testing did not gather the best results, the company has decided to reorganize and test in another location. That same official told the Clarion he was in Juneau recently to speak to the Legislature and said he received general support for the project.
In short: We’re glad to see the state offering up more possibilities to alternative energy sources, particularly those that are renewable and low-footprint like geothermal. Progress in renewable energies can only add to the success of Alaska’s future.