Protecting Land, Water and Communities: Top Clean Energy Projects in Canadian Territories

by | Sep 4, 2021 | Blog

A wind farm in a remote setting.


  • There is a global aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to limit the effects of climate change. Canada is committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy to slow global warming. The market has already grown at a substantial rate, and this is likely to continue as the world demands more action from governments and corporations.
  • Canada plans to modernize its electrical grid and provide many provinces and territories with a clean energy supply. Limiting the effects of climate change means making living costs affordable, energy accessible, increasing jobs, and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
  • In particular, the Northwest Territories are a high priority as large indigenous communities rely on diesel for heat and power. Michael McLeod announced the provision of $8 million to fund eight clean energy projects, educating various remote communities about sustainability and the energy planning process.
  • Fossil fuels are responsible for destroying wildlife, polluting air and water, and affecting local communities. These clean energy projects will protect Canadian land from pollution and destruction, generate cleaner energy and create more jobs for locals.


Across Canada, clean energy projects are on the rise to improve the quality of life for local communities. As temperatures rise, wildfires are increasing, and excessive smoke is affecting the wildlife and livelihoods of many Canadians. Renewable energy potential is vast, with 18.9% of Canada’s energy production from renewable sources. During the transition to a cleaner economy, the need for fossil fuels should decrease – lowering emissions and protecting the land, water and communities.

Canada plans to reduce emissions, improve energy generation, increase employment and make clean energy more accessible and affordable. What’s more, the plan to invest in Canada’s future will see developments across public transit, green energy, social projects, trade and transportation, rural and northern communities.

The green energy market offers many investment opportunities, and unsurprisingly, investments have soared in the last few years. As climate change continues to destroy the planet, experts expect the market will grow even more to meet clean energy demands. This article will highlight the top clean energy projects protecting Canada’s waters, land and communities.

Canada’s Plan to Modernise their Energy Usage

Canada has proven its commitment to green energy by investing more than $960-million in renewable energy projects to upgrade the grid and support more indigenous communities.

People and environmental groups worldwide are demanding mitigating action from governments and corporations in light of the climate crisis. The plans set out by the International Energy Agency (IEA) called on countries to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. So, how does Canada plan to contribute? Because the energy sector is the largest polluter – making up 73.2% of emissions – the Government of Canada is pushing further green energy initiatives to cut carbon emissions.

The use of fossil fuels is destroying the planet – speeding up global warming and harming human health. By promoting clean energy projects, renewable energy will become more accessible to remote communities, helping switch the country to green electricity and reduce their impact on the climate.

Canada has proven its commitment to green energy by investing more than $960-million in renewable energy projects to upgrade the grid and support more indigenous communities. Among its energy investments are plans to improve wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and storage solutions. Programs like the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs) support a low-emission future while powering the economy through clean energy advancements. Projects like this aid the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada aims to reduce the effects of climate change by:

  • Making living costs more affordable by cutting energy waste
  • Making clean energy more accessible and affordable for all communities
  • Building the green energy industry to increase jobs and put it at an advantage over the fossil fuel industry
  • Embracing the power of nature to support healthier lifestyles

Canada is currently one of the world leaders in hydroelectricity, but the solar and wind power industries are growing the fastest. The Renewables Association predicted that two gigawatts of solar and wind power would be installed in 2021 – increasing the capacity of these two renewable sources. In fact, as the cost of solar power decreases and solar storage technology advances, there will likely be an increase in small-scale projects and large-scale utility plans.

An infographic showing the different forms of renewable energy which may contribute to Canada’s clean energy generation.

The Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs)

Supporting various clean energy projects, it can replace more fossil fuel-based electricity with renewable energy – lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

SREPs is among Canada’s green energy initiatives, which distributes up to $964 million over four years for renewable energy and grid modernization projects. Supporting clean energy projects can replace fossil fuel-based electricity with renewable energy, lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This program will support Canada’s transition to a greener economy.

SREPs will support the transition by:

  • Supporting the ongoing development of established renewables such as solar power, wind energy and hydroelectricity
  • Supporting the growth of new technologies, including geothermal and advanced energy storage
  • Modernizing the electrical grid by supporting microgrids, virtual power plants and hardware/software development

The Canadian government collaborates with provinces, territories, and other businesses and communities to provide more areas with a clean energy supply through this program.

Clean Energy Projects in Northwest Territories

Michael McLeod announced a spending budget of $8 million for eight clean energy projects.

In the Northwest territories, there are several remote communities with a large indigenous population. Canada has committed to transitioning these communities from diesel to renewables by 2030 and prioritizing community-led clean energy projects. A member of parliament for the Northwest Territories, Michael McLeod, announced a spending budget of $8 million for eight clean energy projects. These community-led projects will occur in the Northwest Territories and support a clean future by reducing diesel-based heat and power demand and creating new jobs.

These projects commit to improving the quality of life for those living in remote communities by reducing pollution and protecting their land. The government will distribute the funding across various projects.

  • $184,000 to the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, which helps communities understand the need for sustainable energy – bridging the awareness gap. This project will strengthen cross-generational learning between Elders and youth.
  • $797,000 to the Arctic Energy Alliance to improve energy literacy and support Community Energy Planning.
  • $1.7 million to the Town of Inuvik to replace diesel boilers with biomass heating systems that protect the municipal water reservoir.
  • $2.6 million to the Tulita Land Corporation to install biomass boilers and build a system to produce wood chips to fuel the boilers.
  • $500,000 to the Deline Got’ine Government to establish an energy plan to improve energy efficiency, reduce diesel demand, create green jobs and install a 30kWh solar power system for the community hotel.
  • $2.25 million to Nihtat Energy Ltd for multiple projects aiming to replace diesel boilers with biomass heat in the Northwest Territories. They will test how best to integrate renewables into remote and indigenous communities while educating them about the energy planning process.

By reducing diesel reliance in rural and remote communities, the government can help improve health and wellbeing, safeguard wildlife and land, and combat climate change.

A solar power farm and pipes emitting gas in the distance.

How Clean Energy Protects Our Planet?

Switching to renewable energy will help Canadians live healthier lives by reducing pollution, protecting wildlife and natural habitats, and making clean energy more accessible in rural areas.

Clean Energy Protects Water

Researchers identified that it takes approximately four gallons of water to produce one gallon of gasoline.

A considerable disadvantage of fossil fuel energy is the water used to produce energy and cool power plants. Researchers identified that it takes approximately four gallons of water to make one gallon of gasoline in one study. They note that even the unused water is contaminated. Between the unique lakes, beautiful coastlines and even rural water wells, it’s essential to protect Canada’s water supply. Fortunately, wind and solar power do not use water to generate electricity, albeit during the manufacturing process and occasional cleaning.

Another study states that solar PV panels are exempt from 75%< of grid-related emissions and large-scale water waste. Because these renewable sources use little water, they contribute toward preserving Canada’s water supply. Protecting water is essential to securing a healthier future for urban and rural communities alike.

Renewable Energy Protects Land and Habitats

All renewable energy projects must account for biodiversity to avoid destroying sensitive habitats.

Protecting Canada’s habitats is vital for wildlife and humanity alike. Although hydropower makes up 59.3% of Canada’s electricity generation, leading the green energy initiative, it may come with consequences of its own. Building dams potentially destroys the land and may flood surrounding areas – contributing to wildlife loss. The increase in wind and solar power should help protect land; however, all renewable energy projects must account for biodiversity to avoid destroying sensitive habitats.

By creating less waste and disposing of it correctly, land, water, and air pollution rates should decrease. The United Nations Environmental Program stated that power plants produce 400 million tons of toxic waste every year. The plants seldom dispose of dangerous radiation, chemicals, and metals that further harm wildlife. In comparison, green energy creates less waste and no harmful emissions – safeguarding Canada’s beautiful landscapes.

Green Energy Protects Canadian Communities

The price of solar power has dropped by 82% in the last decade alone.

Canada is home to approximately 200 rural communities – many of which rely on diesel to generate heat and electricity. Remote living may be growing in popularity in Canada, but many of these communities are indigenous or have a large indigenous population. Therefore, the Government of Canada must do what it can to make clean energy affordable and accessible for these communities. While diesel power they rely on has many environmental, social and economic downsides, renewable energy can be prohibitively expensive.

Fortunately, as the global demand for renewable energy increases, the cost of installing it has declined. The price of solar power has dropped by 82% in the last decade alone. Along with advancements in the solar storage sector, solar power is an excellent option for remote living. Renewable energy is also scalable, meaning it can supply small households or large communities and cities. The government is keen to back more clean energy projects to power communities without access to sustainable energy.

The renewable energy industry is growing, and along with it, a spike in employment. Clean Energy Canada highlights how profitable the sector is as it is set to create 160,000 jobs. Interestingly, this shift will also see a decline in fossil fuel employment. However, with only 50,000 jobs lost, there will still be a net increase of 110,000 new job opportunities in Canada. The economic benefits of increasing employment give the government more flexibility to fund future clean energy projects.

Finally, public health is improving due to clean energy projects in Canada. As clean energy production rises, it takes the pressure off fossil fuels, reducing the amount of nonrenewable energy needed and thus limiting air, water and soil pollution. By reducing the demand for diesel in local communities, these renewable energy projects will aid the transition to cleaner air, water and protected land. This pollution is responsible for thousands of premature deaths, highlighting the need for sustainable energy sources.

Final Thoughts

Switching to more sustainable energy resources will mitigate the effects of global warming such as wildfires, melting ice and rising sea levels. Canada is a world leader in hydroelectricity, but there is also substantial untapped wind, tidal, biomass and solar potential. The top clean energy projects have started taking this into account. Although many focus on biomass heating systems, we hope to see wind and solar energy rise over the next few years, as these are the safest forms of renewable power.

With the development of clean energy projects, Canada is on its way to replacing its fossil-fuel usage with greener alternatives. However, they must make this transition inclusive, accessible and affordable, so remote indigenous communities benefit. Alongside reducing toxic waste, air, water and soil pollution, these developments will also increase clean energy jobs – enhancing the economy in a climate-friendly way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Canada investing in clean energy projects?

In its commitment to transition the country to green energy, Canada has invested $960-million in renewable energy projects to ease the pressure on fossil fuels, lower carbon emissions, improve human health and reduce the effects of climate change. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has set a target to reach net-zero by 2050; to achieve this goal, Canada must invest in clean energy projects to lower the emissions from the energy sector.


What are the clean energy opportunities in Canada?

Canada has tremendous renewable potential for hydro, wind, solar, tidal and biomass energy. Although Ontario was previously leading the renewable energy revolution in Canada, >Saskatchewan and Alberta may be overtaking the sector. While they are responsible for most of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, they are also a prime location for renewable energy because of the consistent sunshine and wind.


Which is the best renewable energy source in Canada?

Hydroelectricity leads Canada’s renewable energy industry; however, it’s not necessarily the best source. Our World in Data reports that solar power is the safest form of clean energy because it has the least greenhouse gas emissions and deaths linked to accidents or air pollution. Biomass systems and hydropower facilities are fourth and fifth in that list, ahead of natural gas, oil and coal.


How much does Canada invest in clean energy projects?

Alongside the total investment of $960 million into renewable projects, Michael McLeod announced an $8 million investment into clean energy projects in the Northwest Territories. These projects will transition remote communities to cleaner energy alternatives, provide sustainable jobs, and improve health.


How is Canada making the clean energy transition inclusive?

The top clean energy projects in the Northwest Territories provide indigenous communities with clean energy and move away from diesel fuel. These projects aim to build the gap between generations and raise awareness in the community on the energy planning process.