The Department of Energy has announced the reestablishment of the Arctic Energy Office (AEO), to be located on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The AEO was originally established in 2001 but failed to receive sufficient funding. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette had pledged to reopen the office by the close of the current federal fiscal year.
The focus of the AEO, according to the DOE, will include international cooperation on Arctic issues, research on methane hydrates, and the development of advanced microgrids and nuclear power systems, such as small modular reactors.
What they’re saying: “The United States is an Arctic nation, and the region continues to play an essential role in meeting our nation’s energy needs, as well as those of our friends and allies,” said Brouillette. “DOE’s Arctic Energy Office will grow to strengthen and coordinate our work in energy, science, and national security and help build an Arctic future of prosperity and increased opportunity.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, hailed the move, asserting that the office’s revitalization would ensure greater collaboration between Alaska’s innovators and DOE researchers. “I prioritized this office in the appropriations process because I know it will help facilitate the development of new energy technologies that benefit resource-rich Alaska and the country,” she said. “I thank Secretary Brouillette, Deputy Secretary Menezes, and their teams for working with us to reestablish this important office.”