Biomass is organic matter that was alive a short time ago and can be used as fuel. In the NANA region, the most common sources for biomass fuel are wood, wood byproducts, and peat. With innovation and research, biomass can be used for power generation and district heating. Wood products, such as pellets, may also provide economic development opportunities for the region’s residents and businesses by creating local vendor and sales opportunities.
Recently, the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and the Northwest Inupiat Housing Authority (NIHA) finalized a grant for a sustainable yield woody biomass inventory in the Upper Kobuk area around the villages of Kobuk, Selawik and Shungnak. If the resources proves out, then a business model could be implemented to utilize biomass to help lower energy costs in this area.