There are several resources for which we provide web links to their excellent organizations, and which may have deeper materials than we can provide. We have annotated each source to help focus your query.
First, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, www.nrel.gov
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has a clickable section on their web page for research and technology. They provide a national renewable energy research base for photovoltaics, renewable energy resources in general, transportation, developing alternative fuel vehicles and related technologies, wind energy, and building and thermal systems, as well as other more esoteric items. They also operate a news and events list for further information. Their renewable resource data center also has a list of solar radiation resource information and wind energy resource information as well as dynamic maps and GIS data, which include Alaskan databases.
Another excellent national resource is the energy efficiency and renewable energy network of the US Department of Energy. Their website is: www.eere.energy.gov/ They specialize in renewable energy and energy efficiency in buildings and transportation as well as the electric power industry. (also, see Teacher resources, as they have a special section on kids, consumers, ask an energy expert, newsletter subscriptions, and education in general).
Another website that is very much of regional interest, is the Western Sun site: www.northwestsolarcenter.org which is the Washington and Oregon sister coalition to Alaska Sun. Each year, Mike Nelson and his organization, sponsor a solar summit and their website is very rich and fosters local information about the Pacific Northwest solar applications.
Another excellent national resource is sponsored by the Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST). Their website address is: www.crest.org They have vast amounts of information in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable living. As in many cases, a bioenergy, geothermal, hydrogen, solar, wind, general energy economics, education policy, and as with many of these sites, an extensive list of links to other sites.
Another excellent site with a great deal of information is the American Solar Energy Society website: www.ases.org They have a series of clickable information resources, conference lists, and they have an annual American Solar Energy's national tour of solar homes. Particularly useful is their solar guide, which is a resource for solar energy, a fact base, and web links to other renewable energy sites. Their fact base is especially rich.
A related site which is also very good, is the International Solar Energy Society: www.ises.org The International Solar Energy Society runs as a service, the world wide information system for renewable energy with the acronym WIRE which publishes a newsletter and updates it every two weeks. Particularly interesting in their RE information desk is a program called RESuM, the Rural Energy Supply Models information. It's a compilation of definitions, characteristics, models, specific advantages, problems, and success factors for different rural energy supply models, illustrated with real world examples. This seems to be perfectly attuned to the interests of Alaska.
Another interesting website for passive solar design and low energy architecture is: www.sbicouncil.org/ This is the location of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, which has guidelines and software for designing low energy buildings, using an international program called Energy-10. These are resources for architects, builders, utilities, and energy officials. They also sponsor workshops, education, and training. They are also listed on our Teacher Resources page.
A huge and very active national website is the Rocky Mountain Institute website: www.rmi.org Many of the items regarding energy are not specific to renewables but generally deal with energy policy and integrating energy into the rest of the commercial, industrial, and community contexts. There is a clickable item on renewable energy however and as in many of the other sites, it discusses what you'll need to do to make yourself energy efficient. This site uses a very holistic approach and is very excellent for that purpose. In the renewable energy section it describes the concern of costs of renewables. Since renewable energy technologies are relatively expensive, you need to be able to manage with a smaller, cheaper setup. An energy efficient home and appliances, should be your first step to getting to a sustainable world and a renewable lifestyle. Once you have done that, you'll need to decide which renewable technologies make sense for your climate, your situation, your lifestyle, and your financial situation. There's also a discussion of the technologies for passive solar design, solar water heating, photovoltaics, wind power, and microhydro.
Finally, we recommend a visit to Home Power.com the hands-on journal of home made power. Home Power magazine has been a leader in this area for nearly 15 years. Members of Alaska Sun have the entire set of back issues of Home Power on CD and we intend to buy those as part of our information resource. This is a vastly deep and excellent website and the magazine is absolutely top-of-line and the best in the field. www.homepower.com/
This link www.clean-power.com/research.htm contains several PV articles relevant to rural electric cooperatives regarding net metering. Particular items of interest include: "The Market for Photovoltaics in New Homes Using Micro-Grids" by Herig and Hoff; "The Potential Market for Photovoltaics and Other Distributed Resources in Rural Electric Cooperatives"; and "An Historic Opportunity for Photovoltaics and Other Distributed Resources in Rural Electric Cooperatives".
Greening the National Park Service www.nps.gov/renew/doe.htm FEMP, the Federal Energy Management Program is the National Park Services primary partner in promoting and implementing energy efficiency, sustainable practices and renewable applications across the service. Check this link for "Greening the National Park Service".
The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, Faculty of the Built Environment, The National Solar Architecture Research Unit's Sustainability Information: www.fbe.unsw.edu.au/units/solarch-old/sustaininfo.htm. This is one of the best page sources of information for solar options of all sorts which I ever found. A great resource.
An excellent solar website from our neighbors to the north: Solar Energy Society of Canada Inc.