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Power Shift: Electricity for Canada’s Remote Communities

The Conference Board of Canada, 68 pages, September 27, 2016
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Canada’s almost 300 remote off-grid communities depend mostly on diesel-powered generators for electricity. This report is a primer for decision-makers for making policy choices other than diesel-dependence.

Document Highlights

For Canada’s nearly 300 remote off-grid communities, affordable electricity is a challenge. These communities rely solely on locally generated electricity, which typically comes from expensive and polluting diesel-powered generators. This limits the potential growth of these communities, results in high electricity costs, and can have adverse environmental impacts.

Power Shift: Electricity for Canada’s Remote Communities is a primer on electricity supply and demand in Canada’s remote off-grid communities. It profiles the communities and their electricity use, and explains the primary supply-side issues that have left many of them dependent on diesel-powered generators. The report then reviews leading options for advancing alternatives. It explores how the interplay of various technical, economic, environmental, and social factors shapes energy policy options for remote communities. As an aid to decision-makers, the report highlights techniques for weighing options, and concludes with a set of guidelines for framing policy choices around alternatives to diesel dependence.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1–Profile and Electricity Consumption of Canada’s Remote Communities

  • Challenges Facing Remote Communities

Chapter 2–Similar Goals, Many Potential Solutions

  • Potential Solutions
  • Major Differences Among Remote Communities

Chapter 3–Governance, Service Providers, and Funding

  • Cross-Jurisdictional Considerations
  • Subsidization of Rates

Chapter 4–Decision-Making Criteria and Approaches

  • Decision-Making Approaches

Chapter 5–Conclusions and Recommendations for Decision-Makers

  • Carefully Consider Each Community’s Challenges and Strengths
  • Consider All Options, Including Mixes of Options
  • Use a Variety of Analysis Tools
  • Build Off the Work of Others, but Use High-Quality Local Data for Analysis
  • Explore Available Funding Options, Including Partnerships With Industry and Other Communities

Appendix A–Bibliography

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