Didn’t we just spend $45 million plus for the world’s best technology (so we were told) to produce electricity with liquified natural gas?
This money could have been spent on several smaller wood gasification power plants in the communities to create electricity that then can be fed to a smart grid and distributed wherever needed.
But the biggest benefit would be energy created in Yukon and not trucked over 1,000 kilometers. And it would be creating desperately needed local jobs.
I know a lot of people would be worried that we could deplete our forests but that is not the case. The Yukon forest is renewing itself within 80 to 100 years. If the necessary fuel would be harvested in mature forest stands and in small patches to mitigate forest fire danger, we would swat two flies at the same time. A lot of the fuel could come from waste wood, since our dumps are full of it.
The harvest of fuels from the forest could even be more reduced if we established a small forest product industry in Yukon and used the waste wood from that.
We could reduce wood consumption even further if we would finally start to install solar and wind power and just used the gasifiers as backup.
These days solar and wind installations cost less than fossil fuel driven generation, especially if the cradle-to-grave environmental and social cost of the fuel would be integrated into the lifetime cost of the power plants.
And yes we still could have a mining industry for all the raw materials to make products for our day-by-day lives.
But we should also look to diversify our economy to other sectors like tourism. Maybe some high tech companies are looking for cheaper land for their research and production facilities. Why do we not have game farming in Yukon like they have in Scandinavia to produce our own healthy meat locally? Why can’t we have solar-heated produce farms here?
All these new and innovative techniques would reduce our fossil fuel consumption more and more. In maybe 20 years we could be totally free of fossil fuels and still have a decent lifestyle.