Fairbanks Getty

DOE Announces Reestablishment of Office of Arctic Energy

Sept. 23, 2020
Arctic Energy Office to drive coordination and collaboration on DOE's many activities in the Arctic region.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette recently joined Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski in announcing the reestablishment of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Arctic Energy Office (AEO), which will be located on the campus of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF).

The AEO will drive coordination and collaboration on the DOE's many activities in the Arctic region, including international cooperation on Arctic issues, research on methane hydrates, and development of advanced microgrids and nuclear power systems such as small modular reactors. Reestablishing the office fulfills Secretary Brouillette's commitment to do so by the close of this fiscal year.

"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. "The DOE's AEO 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."

"The reestablishment of the AEO will bring the power of DOE innovation and expertise to the region, ensuring we play an important role in its energy future," said Deputy Secretary Mark W. Menezes. "As the region's geopolitical importance increases, the office will also better facilitate strategic coordination with our fellow Arctic nations."

"The United States is an Arctic nation because of Alaska and the reestablishment of the AEO in Fairbanks will ensure greater collaboration between our state's innovators and the DOE's cutting-edge researchers," said Senator Lisa Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "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. I thank Secretary Brouillette, Deputy Secretary Menezes, and their teams for working with us to reestablish this important office."

"The reestablishment of the AEO in Fairbanks underscores Congress' and the Trump administration's increasing attention to the Arctic and Alaska's central role in securing our energy, economic, and national security interests in the region," said Senator Sullivan. "I commend Secretary Brouillette and Senator Murkowski for their work to bring this important institution back to life, and I look forward to the vital scientific research and coordination that will serve Alaskans, the nation, and our global partners as a result."

"Alaska's climate is unlike any other in our nation, making our state a critical hub for research on sustainability in harsh environments," said Congressman Don Young. "I have been a long-time supporter of Alaska's Cold Climate Housing Research Center and have seen its important work for resilient housing first-hand. Having lived around the Arctic Circle, I can tell you that innovation is key for survival in challenging areas. Continuing this work will be essential to developing new energy technologies and ensuring that Alaska leads the way in their deployment. I want to thank Secretary Brouillette, Deputy Secretary Menezes, and the Trump administration for their commitment to these critical operations and recognizing the important role Alaskans play in this field."

"The AEO's focus aligns well with the UAF's academic and scientific expertise," said UAF Chancellor Dan White. "Our deep regional knowledge and international partnerships make the UAF a strong partner in advancing America's security and prosperity by addressing the challenges in the Arctic. I look forward to welcoming the AEO to the UAF Troth Yeddha' campus in Fairbanks."

Consistent with the DOE's overall mission, the AEO will focus on energy, science, and national security. Rather than belonging to a particular program area, the AEO will report to the undersecretary of energy and coordinate the DOE's Arctic activities across the enterprise, bringing together the DOE's wide range of assets, stakeholders, and equities to serve communities and U.S. interests in the region.

The office will be reestablished with three interim staff with experience across the energy, science, and national security spheres.

For more information, visit the AEO website.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!