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What others say: Energy and Alaska, by the numbers

Posted: January 27, 2014 - 8:08pm

We talk a lot about energy up here in our great state of Alaska. We talk about producing it, we talk about the high price of it, we talk about how not to use so much of it in the winter.

Our elected officials talk about making more of it, doing something to lower the price of it and helping us conserve it.

Energy is always a topic of discussion around here, some years more so than others. And with revenue from oil production on state land providing 92 percent of the unrestricted general funds in the state budget, energy gets a lot of attention at the policy table. That’s sure to happen again with the Legislature having just returned to work.

But where does Alaska rank in the big picture among its fellow states? The U.S. Energy Information Administration regularly provides rankings and statistics about the energy scene in the nation and in the individual states.

Two of the items listed below shouldn’t surprise Interior residents. The EIA says Alaska is tops in energy spending per person and No. 3 in energy consumption per person.

A lot of the attention is focused on the energy impact on individuals, but business and industry suffer under high prices, too, as shown in one of the items below.

It’s good to have perspective when we listen to our state and national leaders speak. More information is available at the EIA’s website (www.eia.gov)

All rankings and statistics in the following list are the latest available from the EIA and are from 2011, unless otherwise noted.

■ 1: Alaska ranking in energy expenditures per capita among the states. ($10,692)

■ 3: Alaska’s ranking in energy consumption per capita among the states. (881 million Btu)

■ 4: Alaskan’s ranking among the states in average retail price of residential electricity. (17.93 cents per kWh)

■ 12: Alaska’s ranking among states in nation’s total energy production, all energy sources. (2.1 percent)

■ 2: Alaska’s ranking in crude oil production, excluding federal offshore leases. (600,000 barrels per day)

■ 4: Alaska’s ranking among the states in total amount of electricity generated from petroleum liquids.

■ 11: Alaska’s ranking among the states in natural gas production (351,259 million cubic feet, 2012)

■ 20: Alaska’s ranking among the states in coal production (2.05 million short tons, 2012)

■ 39: Alaska’s ranking among the states in total carbon dioxide emissions (38.7 million metric tons, 2010)

Alaska energy consumption by end user:

■ Industry: 49.4 percent

■ Transportation: 31.5 percent

■ Commercial: 10.7 percent

■ Residential: 8.4 percent

Alaska energy price deviation from national average, in percent, October 2013:— Natural gas, residential: -29.57

■ Electricity, residential: +45.65

■ Electricity, commercial: +55.63

■ Electricity, industrial: +118.82

Alaska net electricity generation by source, October 2013 in gigawatt hours (1 GWh equals 1 million kilowatt hours):

■ Petroleum-fired: 62

■ Natural gas-fired: 239

■ Coal-fired: 54

■ Hydroelectric: 147

— Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Jan. 22

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