Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

11 however, hours of daylight vary from 0 to 6 hours in the winter to 19 to 24 hours in the summer (ABS Alaskan Inc., 2021). Hydropower is a renewable source, but, because it is already well developed, this article focuses on underutilized geothermal, wind, tidal, and solar power, each with unique opportunities and challenges. The feasibility of producing electricity using renewable resources must be evaluated based on certain Alaska-specific challenges. Alaska is known as “the last frontier” in the US, with much of the state inaccessible by road or rail. The state experiences natural hazards and unique weather, which have been exaggerated recently as a result of climate change. Consequently, building infrastructure capable of withstanding the full range of extreme weather conditions, as well as natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, is difficult. Additionally, unlike most of the US, a large portion of the land is either government owned or owned by an Alaska Native Corporation. The feasibility of using renewable resources to produce electricity in Alaska must therefore be assessed from varied perspectives, including land ownership, remoteness, infrastructure challenges, economic barriers, and low electrical demand. This article addresses land ownership and remoteness; however, infrastructure challenges, economic barriers, and electrical demand remain important considerations. Alaska’s Renewable Energy Resources As the US state with the greatest area of undeveloped land, Alaska has abundant renewable energy resources that have yet to be utilized, presenting new opportunities for electrical generation. Currently, 65% of electricity production in Alaska is derived from nonrenewable sources: 37% from natural gas, 16% from oil, and 12% from coal. Approximately 30% of electricity now comes from hydropower, with the remaining 5% from smaller-scale, renewable sources (WINDExchange, 2021). The state is well situated to harness energy from wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal sources to generate electricity, but availability of each resource may provide a hindrance to access. When evaluating the viability of each resource, peak output times determine whether it can satisfy the need at the right time of day and season. This challenge, essentially matching level of energy output to level of demand, is one of the primary considerations associated with renewable energy usage. For example, in the winter, peak energy demand is in the evening; however, if a community were to receive its electricity from solar panels, it would receive virtually no power at peak demand hours and more power at low demand times. In this case, another form of energy or a storage system is necessary. Solar is not the only form of energy that can present these challenges. Each type of renewable energy has a different production schedule, which can be used as an indicator as to whether it is best for a desired purpose. Geothermal Energy in Alaska Geothermal sites are classified according to estimated subsurface temperature, which can be translated into a rough assessment of the potential energy an area can produce. This energy is captured by drilling wells into a geothermal reservoir. Heated geothermal fluid, or sometimes a secondary fluid, produces steam that turns a turbine to generate electricity. As a result of consistent reservoir temperatures that allow a constant energy output, geothermal energy is one of the most reliable forms of renewable energy. If estimated reservoir temperatures are above 150°C, the site is classified as high temperature. Temperatures of 90°C to 150°C earn a moderate-temperature classification, whereas a low-temperature site is one that has estimated subsurface water temperatures lower than 90°C (Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 1983). These classifications are all viable for direct heating applications like homes and greenhouses or for industrial heating and cooling. However, the moderate-temperature and high-temperature sites also can produce energy at levels suitable for electrical transmission. Four areas of the state have been reported as potential locations for geothermal electricity production. They include the Aleutian Volcanic Arc, Wrangell Mountains, Southeastern Panhandle, and Central Alaskan Hot Spring Belt (Batir et al., 2016). The Chena Hot Springs plant in the Central Alaskan Hot Spring Belt is the only operational geothermal power plant in Alaska, with a small capacity of 400 kW (Chena Power LLC, 2007). Of the potential locations,