Investment in a mix of renewable energy in northern communities can lead to significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and operations and maintenance costs, a study released today by WWF-Canada shows. This is the first time the economic viability of renewable energy in Nunavu tcommunities has been assessed.
On behalf of WWF-Canada, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE), a world-class clean-energy research institute consisting of over 90 faculty at the University of Waterloo, performed the pre-feasibility study on the 13 most promising Nunavut communities to predict what the use of renewable energy sources in northern community grids could achieve. Based on this research, five communities have been identified as having a strong business case for renewable energy deployment.
Why move to renewable energy in the North?
Diesel fuel is the primary energy source for Arctic communities in Nunavut — a dependency that has high logistical and financial costs, poses significant threats to the environment, and hinders the self-sufficiency of northern communities. Habitat-friendly renewable energy from solar and wind offers a cost-effective opportunity to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
- In each of the five identified communities, an initial investment in renewable energy would be paid for by reduced diesel energy costs.
- The Hamlet of Sanikiluaq has the maximum energy savings (45 per cent) as well as associated renewable energy mix (52 per cent) and reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (53 per cent).
- The other four selected communities include Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Arviat, and Baker LakWWF-Canada is working with an Arctic renewable energy expert committee to demonstrate that renewable energy is viable in the Canadian Arctic. It is our goal to see large-scale renewable energy projects in at least three northern communities by 2020.
WWF-Canada will consult with the five selected communities in September 2016 to discuss results from this study and also challenges and opportunities involved with renewable energy development in the North. – CNW