Yukon Energy is doing a great job of proving it’s an organization incapable of providing a dependable power grid to the territory (Sixth power outage in four months blacks out southern Yukon). It might be time that the government consider transferring funds from that organization to business and residential projects that seek energy independence.
Those funds could go into purchasing basic implements of energy-self-defence like uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and battery backups. Then, at the very least, Yukoners could avoid damage to their electronic goods and avoid hours of lost productivity. More to the point, they’d have a better chance of arriving at work on time.
They could also fund small projects that implement alternative energy solutions on a very local scale, such as are being implemented by Ericsson and Orange Guinea Conakry in Guinea to power mobile phone base stations (Ericsson, Orange deploy solar base-stations in Africa). The solution improves dependability and slashes energy costs in half. But that’s just one example of energy independence in a rural environment. There are dozens more.
Such funding, either through tax credits or straight subsidy, could spur a new industry in the North and would probably introduce a reliable energy system simply through the element of competitiveness. (After all, what does Yukon Energy have to lose by being lame? Nothing.)
Yukon Energy’s apparent ineptitude is a multi-year fiasco that just gone on too long (Protect Yourself from Yukon Electrical this Winter). The single-provider infrastructure isn’t serving Yukon residents adequately and it’s time to consider alternatives.