New WWF-Canada report identifies five northern communities
where investments in renewable energy would pay off
IQALUIT, June 1, 2016 /CNW/ - 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 Nunavut communities 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 Lake.
Paul Crowley, WWF-Canada's vice-president of Arctic conservation, said:
"Renewable energy has slowly been making in-roads to the Arctic, but not at the scale that will allow for community sustainability and resilience. This study shows that renewable energy uptake in northern communities is a good investment, that it will pay off with cost savings from reduced diesel energy operations and maintenance costs."
David Miller, WWF-Canada's President and CEO, said:
"While we knew that renewable energy was possible in the North, the degree of potential identified by the study is encouraging. If remote Northern communities facing harsh conditions have a good business case for renewable energy investment, think of what is possible in Southern communities and cities."
WWF-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.
About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that wildlife, nature and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more info visit wwf.ca
About Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy
The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) of the University of Waterloo is comprised of 90+ world-class faculty working in all technical, economic and policy aspects of the development of sustainable energy solutions, with multidisciplinary teams that include hundreds of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and state-of-the-art facilities with an impressive range of research and testing equipment. WISE, in the context of Waterloo's culture of innovation, connects faculty members with the right people and opportunities to establish successful partnerships with industry, government and non-profit organizations, as well as multinationals and research organizations with campuses and offices around the world.
For further information: Sarah MacWhirter, senior manager, strategic communications, [email protected], +1 416-489-8800, ext. 7276