By Tyrone Burke
Photos by Chris Roussakis
There’s a whole different energy in the North, and it has nothing to do with the spirit of the Klondike. Northern Canada is ultra-energy intensive, but it’s disconnected from Canada’s electricity generating infrastructure. Local power stations keep the lights on.
The reason for the disconnect: geography. If Canada’s territories were a country, they would be the world’s seventh largest – behind Australia. Yet the population is less than Sudbury’s. With few rate-payers, tapping into the southern grid is prohibitively expensive. So costs remain high and fuel is imported.
Renewable energy promises independence and lower costs, but there are unique challenges.
“There was a dearth of knowledge on renewable energy in the North,” says Alexandra Mallett. The professor at Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration co-authored theReport on the State of Alternative Energy in the Arctic with David Cherniak, Vincent Dufresne, Lawrence Keyte, and Carleton’s Stephan Schott. Funded by Polar Knowledge Canada, it’s an overview of northern renewable energy projects.