Alaska village survival is threatened by the high cost of imported fuels for heating, electricity generation, and vehicles. During Winter 2007–8, the price per gallon of heating oil and diesel generation fuel exceeded $8 in many villages. Many villagers were forced to move to Anchorage or Fairbanks. Although indigenous renewable energy (RE) resources may be adequate to supply a community’s total annual energy needs, the innate intermittent and seasonal output of the renewables — except geothermal, where available, which may be considered “baseload” — requires large-scale, low-cost energy storage to provide an annually-firm energy supply. Anhydrous ammonia, NH3, is the most attractive, carbon-free fuel for this purpose at Alaska village scale, because of its 17.8% mass hydrogen content and its high energy density as a low-pressure liquid, suitable for storage in inexpensive mild steel tanks. NH3 may be synthesized directly from renewable-source electricity, water, and atmospheric nitrogen (N2) via solid state ammonia synthesis (SSAS), a new process to be pioneered in Alaska.

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