Tag Archives: Economy

Alaska's Kenai Peninsula eyed for hydropower projects

From the Anchorage Daily News on Sunday, February 1, 2009:

An effort to find new sources of renewable “small hydro” power for the Railbelt is running into opposition from advocates of another, equally noble environmental cause: protection of the mountain headwaters of the fish-rich Kenai River.

Electric Association, working with a private consortium, is studying “low impact” small-hydro projects for four mountain lakes and streams around Moose Pass and Cooper Landing.

But the state-funded studies ran into loud opposition in the last two weeks from local residents, who foresee plenty of possible impacts from the proposed diversion pipelines and access roads, including threats to the scenic area’s salmon spawning and its tourist-based economy.

Click here to read the whole story.

Alaska state officials promise aid to hurting Southwest Alaska villages

From the Arctic Sounder on Thursday, January 29, 2009:

State officials assessing hardships on the lower Yukon River area for a possible disaster declaration said they’ll push to create a fuel voucher that could help the poorest families.

After two days of listening to crushing testimony from scores of residents in Emmonak and Kotlik, the team said they would do all they can to quickly help.

“In both communities, we hear loud and clear that the children are going to school not ready to learn, that they’re hungry and cold. That’s really troubling to me,” said Tara Jollie, director of the state Division of Community and Regional Affairs.

“We’re hearing that there are families that are hungry and that’s not acceptable,” she said.   

Click here to read the whole article.

Economic downturn changes the American "house of the future"

From businessweek.com, posted on January 6, 2009 and retrieved on Friday, January 30, 2009:

2009 IBS House of the Future

2009 IBS House of the Future

When the homebuilding industry descends on Las Vegas on Jan. 20 for its annual trade show, a highlight as always will be a project called the New American Home. This model house—a new one gets built each year—serves as a showcase for the industry’s latest technology and trends. The massive four-bedroom, five-bath structure popping up in suburban Las Vegas this year may seem a little out of touch with the times as the nation suffers through the worst housing slump in decades. But out in the real world, architects and builders are busy trying to figure out how to put some of the same design features into new homes. Such trends are worth noting: Having amenities that appeal to buyers a decade or more after your house is built will help it hold its value. We list below some of the most important new design features you’ll see in homes.

Click here to read the article.

University of Alaska Fairbanks to build energy research building

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Wednesday, January 28, 2009:

Education leaders look to be sharpening their focus on energy research, a move spearheaded by tentative plans to build a 31,000-square-foot building dedicated to energy research — everything from wind and hydrogen to coal — at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The plan is on the fast-track. If it happens, it would meet a demand for more space for energy research and testing — a need previously limited in discussion to the context of a separate project, a proposed expansion of the university’s growing engineering programs.

University leaders are talking of building the $30 million center, which would house the 1-year-old Alaska Center for Energy and Power, during the next two summers.

Click here to read the whole article.

Click here for a link to the Alaska Center for Energy and Power website.

State of Alaska energy plan not popular with some lawmakers

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Wednesday, January 28, 2009:

A document submitted as a state energy plan falls short of its mark, while renewable energy projects submitted for funding might go too far, legislators said.

Members of the House Energy Committee, including Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, were critical of the Alaska Energy Authority’s state energy plan as director Steve Haagenson detailed the more than 240-page volume during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Rep. Bryce Edgmon, a Democrat from Dillingham and committee co-chairman, said calling the report an energy plan was something of a misnomer. Instead, the report seemed a “first step” toward a state energy plan, he said.

Click here to read the whole article.

State of Alaska $100 million energy proposal


report cover

The State of Alaska has published its proposal for grant allocation from the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund. This money will fund the construction of a wide range of alternative energy projects throughout the state. The total proposed expenditure from the State of Alaska is $100 million, with a Federal match of approximately $300 million.


Click here for a link to the Alaska Energy Authority page that outlines the proposal and links to relevant documents.

Trends in homebuilding — the 2009 edition

From the Chicago Tribune on Friday, January 23, 2009:

Even before home designers and builders headed to Las Vegas for this week’s International Builders Show, they had a pretty clear idea of where residential construction was headed.

Yes, the home-building industry is in the dumps, but there are still visionary designers coming up with a better mousetrap, so to speak, and product manufacturers creating a wide variety of accoutrements to make it a more livable space. Also, regardless of how tight consumers are feeling with their wallets, there’s still a fair share of them paging through the shelter magazines at their kitchen tables, tearing out pages as they dream about the perfect next home for them.

What they’re finding is that technological advancements are changing what it takes to build a better house and what to install in each of its rooms. “Innovation is changing the face of everything we do now,” said Michael Menn, of Design Construction Concepts Ltd.,Northbrook.

Here’s a rundown of some of the “ins,” the trends taking hold, and the “outs,” those ideas whose days are numbered.

Click here to read the rundown.

Home buyers building smaller homes

From the Washington Post on Saturday, January 24, 2009:

Frugality is finally showing up in new home developments.

Although the number of new single-family houses sold this year will probably be down about 68 percent from the peak of almost 1.3 million sold in 2005, there will still be about 420,000 households buying new homes this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Click here to read the whole article.

One Green Year

From www.thegreenguide.com (sponsored by the National Geographic Society), retrieved on Monday, January 26, 2009. A day-by-day guide to “greening” your life:

You could decide to lose weight—again—or this year you could resolve to lighten the load you leave on the planet. To help, we’ve outlined a series of small changes that add up to big results and divvied them up by time frame—tasks you can complete today, in the next week, during the next month and over the course of the next year. Breaking your efforts into smaller, more manageable tasks isn’t a cop-out: By following this plan, each small step adds up to changes that will benefit the health of the planet—and, yes, even your own health—immediately and in years to come.

Click here to see the whole guide.

Obama plans new approach on global warming

From the Washington Post on Monday, January 26, 2009:

President Obama today declared a national goal of ending dependence on foreign oil and promised new U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming as he announced a series of steps aimed at making American cars more fuel efficient and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In remarks at the White House at the start of his second week in office, Obama called on Congress to pass a massive stimulus package that he said would help “create a new American energy economy.” And he directed federal agencies to reexamine two policies that could force automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars with reduced tailpipe emissions.

Click here to read the whole article.