Yukon Can Do Better When It Comes To Our Energy Future

Kate White, Leader of the Yukon NDP called for expanded investment in renewable energy in response to the recent Yukon Energy Corporation announcement to build a new fossil fuel electricity generating plant. Yukon Energy’s decision, White argued, is the result of inaction from successive Yukon Governments.

“It was unfortunate to hear that the Yukon Energy Corporation would be going ahead with yet another fossil fuels-based electricity generating plant,” said Yukon NDP Leader Kate White, “Not only does this decision reflect years of Government inaction when it comes to developing renewable alternatives, it also fails to capture the urgency with which we need to address our ever growing greenhouse-gas-emissions.”

The project, which Yukon Energy argues is essential, leaves little openings for public input and participation. Yukoners have been asked where they would like to see the project installed and whether they prefer diesel or LNG.  What hasn’t been asked of Yukoners, is whether they prefer short term rentals or upfront capital infrastructure investments. Kate White argues that it would be irresponsible for Yukon Energy to invest tens of millions of dollars in a fossil fuel burning generating station that could be on our hands for up to 40 years.

“It is abundantly clear that the only sensible option is to rent generators rather than sink millions into a permanent generating station,” said White, “It is beyond irresponsible to make a 40 year fossil fuel investment when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is saying we need to cut our emissions by 50% by 2030 if we want to limit the extreme effects of climate change."

Renting generators in the short term would allow Yukon Energy to take the steps necessary to establish renewable alternatives to fossil fuels that are used for emergency scenarios, baseload and peak winter load. The Yukon NDP has, for the last several years, advocated for a rapid expansion of Government funded and led renewable energy projects. with a vision of a Yukon Government that not only enables, but leads innovation in Yukon’s renewable energy industry.

“Now more than ever we should be shifting our focus and our investment into clean energy projects,” said Kate “Not only would a Yukon NDP government invest more money in renewable energy initiatives such as biomass, wind, solar, micro hydro, energy storage and electric vehicles, we would set out policy that enables Yukon Energy itself to invest more in renewable energy projects and demand side management initiatives.”