Intern to Identify Full Costs and Benefits of All Energy Systems in Alaska

Intern to Identify Full Costs and Benefits of All Energy Systems in Alaska

“One of the many beauties of rural Alaska is that it is still mostly untouched by modern civilization and full of Native Alaskan heritage,” said ACEP intern Hyun Jang.

Along with that comes a lack of affordable energy. The high cost of transporting fuel to remote locations and the relatively lower energy demand result in expensive energy infrastructure. To tackle this issue, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power is working with stakeholders, utility operators and interested parties to research the potential for renewable energy, specifically micro-nuclear technology. Jang is an intern involved in the project.

Jang, an economics student at the University of Alaska Anchorage, has lived in Alaska for most of his life. Although he was born and raised in South Korea, he considers Alaska to be his hometown. He is interested in the energyscape of Alaska and opportunities for affordable energy options. 

To learn more, he decided to intern for ACEP, where he will be mentored by experts to research his interest. His internship project focuses on the environmental consequences of diesel fuel usage and spills in Alaska, and the feasibility of micro-nuclear energy in rural Alaska. 

Jang will produce a scoping paper titled "Environmental Effects of Existing Diesel Power System and the Value of Small Nuclear Reactor Technologies.” 

 “The paper will help inform the discussion among the Alaska Nuclear Working Group and will contribute to ongoing collaborations between ACEP, the UAA Business Enterprise Institute and Idaho National Lab to better understand the full costs and benefits of different energy systems,” said Steve Colt, who is mentoring Jang.

Jang said he is “hoping to learn more about affordable renewable energy opportunities, environmental consequences of current mode of energy production and the feasibility of nuclear power in our rural communities through this internship.” 

Jang is also mentored by ACEP’s Gwen Holdmann. He is looking forward to learning more about the mechanics and the technical aspects of micro-nuclear energy from Holdmann, as well as aspects of the economics of different renewable energies and the process of data analysis from Colt.

This internship is funded by the Office of Naval Research through the ACEP Utility Student Internship. For more information on this project, please contact Steve Colt at


Hyun Jang is an ACEP summer intern. Photo courtesy of Hyun Jang.