By Matt Buxton, NewsMiner.com
FAIRBANKS — With the Carlson Center’s covered ice hockey rink beneath their feet, hundreds of people from Arctic nations gathered for a chilly three-day conference to discuss and learn about energy in the far north.
The event is the Arctic Energy Summit and is the third of its kind held since 2007 by the Alaska-based Institute of the North.
Nils Andreasson, the head of the Institute of the North, said during his opening address to the conference that one goal is to help guide Arctic energy development policy.
“What we want to bring to the Arctic Council is a list of best practices,” he said.
“For each of you, this family of Arctic energy individuals, experts and leaders, you bring a special recognition of the challenges and opportunities. You have a great wealth of knowledge and experience.”
The first day included sessions on the challenges of integrating renewable energy into rural energy systems, sustainable development, energy efficiency and the potential to integrate traditional local knowledge into oil and gas development.
“We need to make sure we have a balanced approach,” said Tanana Chiefs Conference President Victor Joseph. “In addition to this, we need to be making sure whatever we do is environmentally friendly. If we’re not considering the environment, then we’re having other impacts.”