A call to plan for plenty in Canada's remote and Indigenous communities
As laid out in WGSI's OpenAccess Energy Blueprint, and in an ever-growing body of global evidence, the objective of energy access efforts is not simply to provide energy at reasonable cost and reliability. Rather, it is to provide levels of energy service of high enough quality and quantity to allow for greater economic and social development and self-determination in communities strangled by energy deficit.
In Energy access — the Canadian context, a special section in the OpenAccess Energy Blueprint, acknowledges the role of energy as the backbone of a better quality of life for Canada's remote and Indigenous communities and our responsibility to provide the supportive resources these communities need to not only meet their current minimum energy needs but to plan for plenty.
|Download Energy access - the Canadian context (infographic spread)|
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Four steps are required to establish this as an area of national priority:
1. Commit to a step change in investment Canada’s federal government should increase its overall funding commitments for energy in remote communities from the tens of millions to the billions in the immediate future. This funding should be seen as a priority area for ongoing green infrastructure spending programs.
2. Recognize Indigenous leadership and support capacity building In order to ensure long-term economic and social benefits, Indigenous clean energy leadership must be recognized and supported through capacity building programs.
3. Create a single, intergovernmental point of contact A single point of contact within government – whose responsibility is to ensure those initiating and managing energy projects can navigate regulations, funding and reporting at the federal and provincial/territorial level and across relevant departments – is essential.
4. Connect people, technologies and information Knowledge sharing between communities and innovative institutions is critical to success.Private and public sectors should be encouraged to utilize up-to-date information and innovative technologies to seek new arrangements for energy projects in remote communities that are financially sustainable over the long term.