Recent Developments in Renewable Energy in Remote Aboriginal Communities, Nunavut, Canada

Konstantinos Karanasios, Paul Parker


Remote aboriginal communities in Nunavut are entirely dependent on diesel powered electricity. This paper reviews the electricity systems in 25 remote communities, past renewable electricity projects and available renewable resources. Despite past efforts to introduce renewable energy into these communities, alternative energy generation is limited to a few district heating installations, and wind and solar demonstration projects. The high cost of deployment of renewable technologies in Nunavut’s isolated locations and limited government financial resources hinder communities’ participation in renewable electricity generation. However, growing demand and the necessity for diesel plant replacements or upgrades in 17 of the 25 communities, combined with recent decreases in the cost of solar and battery storage technologies, provide an opportunity for communities with high wind resources to integrate wind and solar projects into their electricity systems and to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Keywords: Nunavut, remote aboriginal communities, indigenous communities, diesel, renewable electricity, wind, solar 

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