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Harvesting Local Energy: A Case Study of Community-Led Bioenergy Development in Galena, Alaska

dc.contributor.authorMenghwani, Vikas
dc.contributor.authorWalker, Chad
dc.contributor.authorKalke, Tim
dc.contributor.authorNoble, Bram
dc.contributor.authorPoelzer, Greg
dc.description© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).en_US
dc.description.abstractCommunity-led bioenergy projects show great promise to address a range of issues for remote and Indigenous Arctic communities that typically rely on diesel for meeting their energy demands. However, there is very little research devoted to better understanding what makes individual projects successful. In this study, we analyze the case of the Galena Bioenergy Project (Alaska)—a biomass heating project that uses locally sourced woody biomass to help meet the heating demands of a large educational campus. Using project documents and other publicly available reports, we evaluate the project’s success using three indicators: operational, environmental, and community level socio-economic benefits. We find that the project shows signs of success in all three respects. It has a reliable fuel supply chain for operations, makes contributions towards greenhouse gas reductions by replacing diesel and has improved energy and economic security for the community. We also examine enabling factors behind the project’s success and identify the following factors as crucial: community-level input and support, state level financial support, access to forest biomass with no competing use, predictable demand and committed leadership. Our findings have important implications for other remote communities across the Boreal zone—especially those with nearby forest resources. Our examination of this case study ultimately highlights potential pathways for long-term success and, more specifically, shows how biomass resources might be best utilized through community-led initiatives to sustainably support energy security in Arctic communities.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipVinnova project “What’s in a Social License to Mine? Indigenous, Industry and Government Best Practices for Social Innovation” (project No. 2017-02226), which is part of the national Swedish Strategic Innovation Programme STRIM, a collaborative effort by Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agencyen_US
dc.description.versionPeer Revieweden_US
dc.identifier.citationMenghwani, V.;Walker, C.; Kalke, T.; Noble, B.; Poelzer, G. Harvesting Local Energy: A Case Study of Community-Led Bioenergy Development in Galena, Alaska. Energies 2022, 15, 4655. https://
dc.rightsAttribution 2.5 Canada*
dc.subjectIndigenous energyen_US
dc.subjectenergy securityen_US
dc.subjectinterior Alaskaen_US
dc.subjectoff-grid energyen_US
dc.subjectdistributed energy generationen_US
dc.subjectbiomass energyen_US
dc.titleHarvesting Local Energy: A Case Study of Community-Led Bioenergy Development in Galena, Alaskaen_US


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