Traditionally, Alaska has been the land of oil & gas. In 2022, the state was sitting on crude oil reserves of 3.2 billion barrels—the fourth largest reserves of any state. But climate change is causing havoc in the Arctic circle and changes are afoot. The University of Alaska’s 2022 report on Alaska’s Changing Arctic: Energy Issues and Trends notes that the boom & bust cycles in oil have created a volatile economic situation. In order to thrive, Alaska will need to diversify its energy portfolio and invest in carbon capture and storage programs.
If you’re interested in the clean energy sector, check out the Renewable Energy Atlas of Alaska and the strides being made in hydropower. In the southern part of the state, Alaska has scores of mountainous areas, surging rivers, and high annual rainfalls. But it also has a gigantic coastline that offers exciting opportunities in tidal, ocean, and wind energy. For more guidance, talk to the folks at UAF’s Alaska Center for Energy & Power (ACEP) about your educational pathway.