Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Yukon

Yukon

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Table of Contents

  • Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2021

    Description:
    This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Yukon from 2010 to 2020. Over this period, natural gas production has deceased from 1.2 Mcf/d to none since 2012.

  • Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2019)

    Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2019)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2021

    Description:
    This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Yukon. A total of 0.47 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2019.

  • Figure 3: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Figure 3: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER

    Description:
    This map shows all major natural gas pipelines in Yukon.

    Download:
    PDF version [515 KB]

  • Figure 4: End-Use Demand by Sector (2019)

    Figure 4: End-Use Demand by Sector (2019)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2021

    Description:
    This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Yukon by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 8.3 PJ in 2018. The largest sector was transportation at 65% of total demand, followed by commercial (at 13%), industrial (at 12%), and lastly, residential (at 9%).

  • Figure 5: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2019)

    Figure 5: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2019)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2021

    Description:
    This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Yukon in 2018. Refined petroleum products accounted for 6.5 PJ (79%) of demand, electricity at 1.5 PJ (18%), and natural gas at 0.2 PJ (2%). There was no end-use demand of biofuels or other.
    Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.

  • Figure 6: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Figure 6: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    Environment and Climate Change Canada – National Inventory Report

    Description:
    This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Yukon by sector every five years from 1990 to 2020 in MT of CO2e equivalent. Total GHG emissions have increased in Yukon from 0.55 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 0.60 MT of CO2e in 2020.

  • Figure 7: Emissions Intensity from Electricity Generation

    Figure 7: Emissions Intensity from Electricity Generation

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    Environment and Climate Change Canada – National Inventory Report

    Description:
    This column graph shows the emissions intensity of electricity generation in Yukon from 1990 to 2020. In 1990, electricity generated in Yukon emitted 190 g of CO2e per kWh. By 2020, emissions intensity decreased to 100 g of CO2e per kWh.

Energy Production

Crude Oil

  • Yukon does not have any commercial crude oil production.
  • Although eight sedimentary basins in Yukon have been identified as having crude oil potential of up to 900 million barrels, no significant amount of crude oil has ever been produced. Seventy-six wells have been drilled in Yukon from five of the eight basins. Most of these wells were drilled in the 1960s and 1970s. The most recent wells were drilled in the Eagle Plain Basin in 2012-2013.
  • In December 2016, the federal government announced that the Canadian Arctic offshore, including the federal waters offshore of Yukon, is indefinitely off limits to new offshore oil and gas licensing, be reviewed every five years. The first five-year review was due in 2021, but science-based review work was delayed until 2022. The federal government, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the governments of Yukon, the Northwest Territories (NWT), and Nunavut are developing assessments to be reviewed in 2022.
  • In 2019, the government issued an order, expiring at the end of 2021, prohibiting all oil and gas activities in the Canadian Arctic offshore, including activities associated with existing licenses. This order was amended on 21 December 2021 to extend it until 31 December 2022, to accommodate the completion of the scientific reviews. Also in 2019, the government announced that it will freeze the terms of existing licenses in the Arctic offshore to preserve existing rights.
  • The federal government returned $430 million in security deposits to oil and gas companies that had existing licenses. After 31 December 2022, offshore licence holders will have the option to pay the license deposit again or surrender the licence.
  • Discussions regarding the review are ongoing between the territorial governments of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, the federal government, and northern Indigenous communities.

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • There are no refineries in Yukon.

Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)

  • There is currently no natural gas or NGL production in Yukon.
  • Small volumes of natural gas were produced in the Kotaneelee field in southeastern Yukon until 2012, when production was suspended for economic reasons (Figure 1).
  • Yukon’s remaining resources of recoverable, sales-quality natural gas is estimated to be 10 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).

Electricity

  • In 2019, Yukon generated about 0.47 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 0.07% of total Canadian generation. Yukon has an estimated generating capacity of 136 megawatts (MW).
  • Yukon Energy Corporation is publicly owned and is the main generator and transmitter of electricity in Yukon. It also sells wholesale to ATCO Electric Yukon, who then distributes the power to most Yukoners.
  • ATCO Electric Yukon, a privately owned company, also contributes some power generation. In addition to distributing power to customers, it owns and operates the 1.3 MW Fish Lake hydro plant near Whitehorse, generates power in five communities that are not connected to the territorial grid system that rely on diesel power, and operates six stand-by diesel generation facilities in the territory.
  • Yukon generates the majority of its electricity from hydro sources. In 2019, hydroelectricity accounted for 80% of total generation. Yukon has four hydro plants with a total capacity of nearly 95 MW. The largest is the Whitehorse Hydro Facility, which can supply 40 MW of power in the summer and 25 MW in the winter when water flow is reduced.
  • Generation from diesel and natural gas is required for periods of peak demand. Yukon used to rely primarily on diesel, but the lower cost of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in recent years has made investments in LNG facilities more economical. The 8.8 MW Whitehorse LNG power plant started operations in 2015 with two units. A third LNG unit was installed in 2018.
  • Yukon’s two wind turbines on Haeckel Hill near Whitehorse, installed in 1993 and 2000, are no longer in service. A new 4.0 MW wind project on Haeckel Hill is currently under development.
  • A 0.9 MW solar array with battery is currently operational in the fly-in community of Old Crow. New solar projects have been proposed, including a 2.9 MW solar farm for the off-grid community of Watson Lake and a 1.0 MW project near Whitehorse.
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Energy Transportation and Trade

Crude Oil and Liquids

  • There are no crude oil pipelines or crude-by-rail facilities in Yukon.
  • The Canol 1 Pipeline was built to carry crude oil from Norman Wells, NWT to a refinery in Whitehorse during World War II. The pipeline was constructed by the United States (U.S.) Army and operated for less than two years before removal. Three other crude and products pipelines were constructed as part of the Canol project and connected Whitehorse to the Alaskan cities of Skagway and Fairbanks.

Natural Gas

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Whitehorse receives LNG by truck from facilities in Elmworth, Alberta (Ferus Natural Gas Fuels) and Dawson Creek, B.C. (Campus Energy). The LNG is stored and used at Yukon Energy’s Whitehorse facility for electricity generation.
  • There are no proposed large-scale LNG facilities in Yukon.

Electricity

  • The Yukon Integrated System is the main territorial electricity grid. It has over 900 kilometres (km) of transmission lines that connect the majority of the territory to the main hydro, diesel, and LNG power plants. Five communities are off-grid and rely on diesel-fired generation for electricity.
  • Yukon Energy Corporation owns and operates most of the transmission infrastructure, as well as directly serving 2 200 customers. ATCO Electric Yukon distributes power to 19 000 customers in 19 communities.
  • As a result of long distances to generation facilities in neighbouring provinces, there are no transmission lines to enable the trade of electricity between Yukon and other jurisdictions.
  • In 2019, the Government of Canada committed to an investment of $16.5 million towards Yukon Energy’s construction of a grid-scale battery storage system in Whitehorse. The battery is scheduled to be installed and in service by the end of 2022 and once completed, the 7 MW/40 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery would be the largest grid-connected battery in northern Canada.
  • Yukon’s Micro Generation Policy offers incentives for residential and commercial customers to produce electricity from renewable sources and sell the surplus to the grid. By the end of 2021, the territory had 510 solar micro-generators connected to the grid with a combined capacity of 6 MW.
  • Yukon’s 2020 “Our Clean Future” strategy includes targets to replace 1 300 residential fossil fuel heating systems with smart electric systems, and to support the installation of 20 commercial and institutional biomass heating systems by 2030.
  • The Yukon Utilities Board regulates electricity, namely the two utility companies that operate in the territory: Yukon Energy Corporation and ATCO Electric Yukon.
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Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Total Energy Consumption

  • End-use demand in Yukon was 8.7 petajoules (PJ) in 2019. The largest sector for energy demand was transportation at 65% of total demand, followed by industrial at 14%, commercial at 12%, and residential at 9% (Figure 4). Yukon’s total energy demand was the second smallest in Canada and per capita energy demand was the fourth smallest in Canada.
  • RPPs, including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, were the largest fuel type consumed in Yukon, accounting for 6.9 PJ, or 80% of total end-use demand. Electricity and natural gas accounted for 1.5 PJ (18%) and 0.2 PJ (2%), respectively (Figure 5).

Refined Petroleum Products

  • Yukon’s RPP demand data is not publicly available for 2019.
  • Yukon is one of the smallest markets in Canada for RPPs. Diesel makes up a majority of the RPPs consumed in the Yukon. A significant portion of this diesel demand is for power generation and heating in communities not connected to the electrical grid, and when hydroelectric generation is insufficient to meet power demands for those on the territorial grid.
  • Virtually all the RPPs consumed in Yukon are produced in Alberta or B.C., but occasionally some small volumes are also imported from Alaska.

Natural Gas

  • Natural gas (stored as LNG) is used at Yukon Energy’s Whitehorse facility to generate electricity during peak winter demand or as backup for hydroelectric outages.

Electricity

  • In 2019, annual electricity consumption per capita in Yukon was 10.2 MWh. Yukon ranked tenth in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 32% less than the national average.
  • Yukon’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2019 was commercial at 0.20 TWh. The residential and industrial sectors consumed 0.18 TWh and 0.04 TWh, respectively.
  • Yukon has the lowest electricity prices of the territories because of its hydroelectric infrastructure. Residential rates are approximately 12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 1 000 kWh of electricity consumed, but rates do vary based on community and customer type.
  • Mining is a significant driver of Yukon’s energy demand, and the opening and closing of mines can dramatically affect electricity consumption.

GHG Emissions

  • Yukon’s GHG emissions in 2020 were 601 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e).Footnote 1 Yukon’s emissions have increased 9% since 1990 and 6% since 2005.
  • Yukon’s emissions per capita are 14.2 tonnes of CO2e per capita– 19% below the Canadian average of 17.7 tonnes per capita.
  • The largest emitting sectors in Yukon are transportation at 68% of emissions, electricity at 9%, and industry and manufacturing at 9% (Figure 6).
  • Yukon had no oil and gas production in 2020 and, therefore, had zero GHG emissions associated with the oil and gas sector.
  • In 2020, Yukon’s power sector emitted 54 kilotonnes of CO2e emissions, which represents a very small fraction of Canada’s total GHG emissions from power generation.
  • The greenhouse gas intensity of Yukon’s electricity grid, measured as the GHGs emitted in the generation of the territory’s electric power, was 100 grams of CO2e per kWh (g of CO2e per kWh) electricity generated in 2020. This is a 56% increase from the territory’s 2005 level of 64 g of CO2e per kWh. The national average in 2020 was 110 g of CO2e per kWh (Figure 7).
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More Information

Data Sources

Provincial & Territorial Energy Profiles aligns with the CER’s latest Canada’s Energy Future 2021 datasets. Energy Futures uses a variety of data sources, generally starting with Statistics Canada data as the foundation, and making adjustments to ensure consistency across all provinces and territories.

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