Let’s Make Sense of LNG

Energy Supply

Jun 25, 2013  2

 Yukon Energy has a proposal to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace our back-up diesel generators. At the same time we would continue searching for new cost effective renewable sources of electricity.

Why LNG? We currently use diesel for back-up generation: to help restore electricity during power outages, to supplement our hydro in very cold weather, and during droughts. But some of the diesel units are old and have reached the end of their lives. Since we are mandated to provide a back-up system, we have no choice but to replace these aging generators. The question is: with what?

After a lot of research and input from Yukoners (LNG was one of the energy options Yukoners asked us to look into further at our Energy Charrette in 2011) we've concluded that a switch from diesel to natural gas generation is the responsible thing to do for economic, operational and environmental reasons. 

We're planning a series of Open Houses to share with you what we've learned about LNG, and to talk to you about a proposal we have to retire two of our oldest Whitehorse diesel units and replace them with natural gas generators. We hope you can attend one of these sessions:

July 2nd at the Nakwat'a Ku Potlatch House
For citizen of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation
6 - 9 p.m.

July 3rd at the Old Fire Hall, Whitehorse
For citizens of the Ta'an First Nation
6 - 9 p.m.

July 8th at Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre, Whitehorse
For the general public
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


by Lee Carruthers

I am really disappointed to see that YE is considering switching to LNG. The gas that will be available for this will inevitably be “fracked.” This means it will be sourced through a highly inefficient and destructive process that ultimately destroys the landscape and water and contributes inordinately to climate changing greenhouse gases. The net energy produced by sourcing gas through fracking, liquifying, transporting and storing it is very small and a tremendous waste of energy. I refer you to the Cornell University study that found that, over a 20 year horizon, fracked gas contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than either coal or diesel. It is NOT a clean energy alternative - it is a dirtier source.

Furthermore, utilizing such a foolish and problematic energy source will inevitably lead to fracking occurring in Yukon. This represents a serious threat to our local landscape, water, wildlife and tourism economy. Yukon possesses a substantial quantity of magnificent wilderness, something becoming ever more rare in the modern world. We need to protect this fast-vanishing and valuable resource for the ultimate economic and personal benefit of future generations.

Clean energy alternatives such as wind and solar are the ones to pursue, just as much of the rest of the world is already doing. Time to get with the program and make a move towards sustainable energy sources - for the sake of both current and future generations. My children and grandchildren will thank you for it. They will certainly NOT thank you for switching to yet another dirty and destructive fossil fuel source.


by Jean-François Des Lauriers

First, thanks for having this blog. I will attend the open house on July 8, as I’m curious to see what the Pembina Institute has to say regarding your LNG proposal.

In my view, if the LNG goes ahead, it should only be a step on the way to making the territory energy self-sufficient chiefly using renewable sources such as wind, sun and geothermal. Do you have a concrete plan to achieve this? Do you have a timeline to achieve this? What kinds of projects do you envision? I have noticed that the only two wind generators located on Haeckel Hill seldom are in use, in fact, the smaller one never turns a blade. That surely doesn’t show much commitment to renewable energy.