• Sustainable Development Working Group
  • Arctic Council

A Sustainable Arctic

The Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy (ARENA) program focuses on sharing knowledge and establishing professional networks related to microgrids and integration of renewable energy resources for remote Arctic communities.

In 2017, ARENA was piloted as a project endorsed by the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group. The United States, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Gwich'in Council International, and the Aleut International Association co-led the program.

For more information, e-mail us at uaf-arena@alaska.edu.


Individual Benefit

Each participant will gain the knowledge, skills and tools they need, and will develop a network with whom they can collaborate over the long haul.

Community Benefit

Participants will work on a specific, tangible aspect of a real-world project of their choice, incorporating what they have learned from their mentors, colleagues, training and site visits.

Circumpolar Benefit

Inter-regional sharing of energy system experiences, challenges and opportunities helps us all move towards our shared goal of a sustainable future.

Global Benefit

The need to shift to low-carbon energy solutions is a global imperative. Integrating locally available renewable energy supplies with fossil fuel generating systems in microgrids can profoundly change the way we address our needs for electrical power, space conditioning and transportation.


  • Build a cooperative international cohort of energy champions using the principles of knowledge sharing, mentoring, networking, learning and capacity building.
  • Improve community energy resilience.
  • Enable sustainability in Arctic energy development.

Thoughts from 2017 Participants

“ARENA has helped us a lot to move our project forward and have resources for our questions. Throughout the way, I’ve been able to draw from folks in the group and my own energy literacy.”
ARENA participant, Yukon Territory, Canada

“The biggest benefit of ARENA was being a part of a diverse co-hort. Meeting peers from across the Arctic and traveling together built lasting connections that continue to inform my work today – perhaps more so now than ever.”
ARENA Participant, Alaska, United States

“The site visits enabled us to appreciate the commonalities as well as the differences between our regions, to get to know each other, our strengths and our interests, and to develop lasting friendships that are much more than professional networking. These friendships have already borne fruit.”
ARENA participant, Ontario, Canada

“ARENA gave me the knowledge and confidence to successfully apply for a grant, and a network of peers to call with specific project and administration questions. Connections to ARENA participants helped catalyze this and other projects. I would not have been successful without ARENA.”
ARENA participant, Alaska, United States