Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy (ARENA) II

Project Title:

Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy (ARENA) II

Project Leads:

Canada, Finland, Iceland, Russian Federation, United States, Gwich’in Council International, Aleut International Association

Status:  

A follow on project from the Finnish Chairmanship (2017-2019)

Target Completion Date:

March 2021

Project Summary:

The Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy II will build on the success of the first ARENA project (2017) and seek to provide participants with the necessary knowledge-base, skills and collaboration network to develop clean energy projects in their own communities or regions.

Throughout the Arctic, there are many examples of human resourcefulness and creativity in developing and adapting technology to the challenging environment. In remote communities that are not connected by transmission or pipeline to a larger regional or national network, energy for heat, power and transportation must either be imported as liquid fuel at high cost or accessed through local resources that must be used in close physical and temporal proximity to its origins. Maximizing the use of locally available renewable resources to provide affordable, reliable and clean heat and power is a priority across the region. Nonetheless, there are disparities in where and how renewable resources have been developed. For many communities, it remains a challenge to effectively integrate these resources to achieve a balance of energy security, economic viability, and environmental and public health.

In 2017, the Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy (ARENA) project brought together 17 individuals from three Arctic states and three Arctic indigenous peoples’ groups for a combination of training, mentoring and site visits. The program focused on the development, operation and management of remote energy networks (microgrids), incorporating renewable resources and associated technologies. A series of webinars was produced for the program and made available on the ARENA program website for streaming or downloading. Participants in the initial ARENA program have shared that they experienced significant benefits from their participation, and many have continued to interact with one another, the program leaders and their mentors.

It is anticipated that the ARENA II project will create and strengthen avenues for sharing knowledge about the integration of renewable energy in remote energy networks in the circumpolar Arctic region. The project falls under the thematic priority area of Sustainable Energy in SDWG’s Strategic Framework.

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