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Energy shift: Reducing diesel reliance in remote communities in BC

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This paper explores the challenges and proposes potential solutions for renewable energy and energy efficiency development in diesel-dependent remote First Nations communities in British Columbia. Through 22 qualitative interviews, (with remote First Nations communities, private and public sector, and non-profit) participants identified the following barriers and challenges to implementing energy projects: small remote communities have limited human capacity to develop large-scale energy projects; current provincial and federal government programs are uncoordinated and difficult to navigate; remote communities pay higher rates for energy, and this under-subsidization creates energy poverty and indebtedness; and the rates and requirements for electricity purchase agreements challenge the economic viability of energy projects. Four policies to mitigate these challenges were considered for this analysis: (1) increasing electricity purchase prices for remote community energy; (2) streamlining grant funding applications; (3) implementing on-bill financing for energy efficiency; and (4) implementing a community-based training program.
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