Alaska has set a target of 50% power to be generated by renewable energy source by 2025. The plan has a guide listing alternative energy assets of every village in Alaska which would be developed to decrease the usage of diesel. The six state utilities serving the population have been asked to take a regional approach for new power generation projects that could lower costs. The goal takes into consideration both urban Alaska and other cities that make up the Railbelt and Alaska villages.

This guide will help us move to a future where, ideally, 50 percent of Alaska’s electricity is generated from renewable resources by 2025, Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska said.

President-elect of the US, Barack Obama, has called for 25% renewable energy use althroughthe nation by 2025. As per the Union of Concerned Scientists, 26 states have adopted renewable electricity standards and four states have a voluntary renewable energy goal, with no specific enforcement mechanism. The state of Washington has goal of 15% renewable energy use by 2020 and Oregon has goal of 25% by 2025.

At present, 24% of Alaska’s power already comes from renewable energy, mostly hydropower from the Alaska Panhandle.

Pat Lavin, an attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, called Palin’s announcement a defining moment in Alaska’s history.

We just became a leader among states in committing to renewable energy as the power source of the future, Lavin said.

Kate Troll, director of the Alaska Conservation Alliance, said that the governor’s announcement was the first time she has officially voiced the importance of consolidating utilities, using more fuel-efficient engines, and getting rural communities off diesel.

Together, these goals make a very forward-thinking energy plan, Troll said.

Deborah Williams of Alaska Conservation Solutions urged Palin to codify her goal to aid utilities in planning.

That goal is nationally significant, Deborah Williams said.

The governor said that she wanted the state to continue to be a major supplier of energy to the nation but planned to take an unprecedented effort to inventory and analyze options within the state.

Joe Balash, Palin’s aide on oil and gas, said that there will be a continued effort to find new power generation sources for the Railbelt. Talks have been ongoing with utilities, he said, and legislation likely will be introduced in the 90-day 2009 session.

Palin energy adviser Steve Haagenson unveiled the first 77 projects picked for the $100 million Alaska Renewable Energy Fund grants. The projects include wind farms in the Aleutians, Kodiak and Delta Junction to a landfill gas recovery project in Anchorage.

State legislative leaders have warned that Alaska earns more than 90% of its state revenue from crude oil and that money for renewable energy projects may not be so plentiful in 2009.