US DOE sets up Office of Arctic Energy

21 September 2020

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

The AEO will drive coordination and collaboration on DOE’s many activities in the Arctic region including: international cooperation on Arctic issues, research on methane hydrates, and development of advanced micro grids and nuclear power systems, such as small modular reactors.

“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.

“DOE’s Arctic Energy Office 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 Arctic Energy Office 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.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee noted that the reestablishment of the Arctic Energy Office in Fairbanks will ensure greater collaboration between Alaska’s innovators and the Department of Energy’s cutting-edge researchers. 

“I prioritised 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,” she said.

The AEO will focus on energy, science, and national security. Instead of belonging to a particular programme area, “it will report to the Under Secretary of Energy, and coordinate DOE’s Arctic activities across the enterprise, bringing together DOE’s wide range of assets, stakeholders, and equities to serve communities and US interests in the region”, DOE said.

Photo: Logo for Arctic Energy Office (Credit: US DOE)

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