In northern Canada, high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are associated with the use of diesel to generate electricity in remote communities. Recent federal, provincial and territorial government mandates to reduce GHG emissions has resulted in a renewed interest in the development of alternative renewable energy resources, including geothermal energy.
The Energy Division of NWT’s Department of Infrastructure is currently working to diversify its energy mix by including the increased development of renewable and alternative energy resources. Successful implementation of this strategy will result in the reduction of GHG produced during energy production. The NWT Geological Survey (NTGS) Strategic Plan 2017-2022 also expanded the strategy to assess NWT energy resources by including geothermal energy as one of the energy resources for further technical assessment. The inclusion of this form of energy as an NTGS research focus area will result in the delivery of the geoscience required to understand this resource and its potential contribution to NWT energy needs.
Benefits of the successful development and implementation of geothermal energy production and district heating projects may include:
- Provide baseload renewable, low GHG energy compliant with the current government mandates.
- Lower cost of living and potentially stimulate new and diversified economic development.
- Provide geoscience to support the development of geothermal legislation that is tailored to NWT opportunity and needs.