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Diesel in Nunavik

Did you know?

As of now, Nunavik remains almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels. Explore the negative effects of diesel on our sea and lake ice, our country’s food, our land and wildlife, and, as a result, on our health.

Where does diesel
come from?

In Nunavik, the vast majority of diesel used comes from crude oil, a fossil energy that we only find in limited quantities on the planet and whose impacts on our lives are considerable.

Why does nunavik need diesel?

The electrical grid that supplies Quebec does NOT reach Nunavik. The communities must therefore produce electricity from diesel transported to Nunavik by boat each summer.

How does Nunavik
produce electricity?

A thermal power plant located in each community uses diesel to produce electricity. The first power plants appeared in the 1960s. They were built by the government and then transferred to Hydro-Québec.

0 M

litres/years for ELECTRICITY production


all the energy produced in Nunavik comes from diesel, a non-renewable source of energy.

0 M

litres/years for HEATING

Is it possible to eliminate the use of diesel?

The electricity produced by solar panels and wind turbines is very variable as it depends on the sun and wind. When demand exceeds what these methods can produce, other sources such as hydroelectricity, diesel or others must be used.

What are the impacts of diesel?

Diesel is a source of POLLUTION as its use causes the release of harmful gases and particles into the atmosphere, which, in turn, have significant consequences on the entire ecosystem.

How does it affect humans and animals?

Diesel pollution can damage our health,cause respiratory and heart problems, and be the source of various types of cancer.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases naturally present in the atmosphere. They absorb part of the sun’s rays and retain another part on the earth’s surface. They contribute to the environment’s natural balance. However, since the mid-19th century, human activity has increased the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere and caused an imbalance. This increasing concentration of GHGs traps solar radiation on the planet’s surface and creates warming that causes climate change.

The carbon footprint is an indicator that aims to measure the impact of an activity on the environment. More specifically, it attempts to measure the quantities of greenhouse gases emitted by this activity. Reducing the carbon footprint ensures a better quality of life for future generations.

Want to learn more?

If this information is of interest to you, here are some helpful links

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Fractional distillation diagram, on Freepik
Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Analyse du potentiel de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre dans les réseaux autonomes du Nunavik
PEMBINA institute, Diesel reduction progress in remote communities – research summary
From the power plant to the home, on Hydro-Quebec
David Allard Martin, Hydro-Québec’s off-grid systems
Valise pédagogique 00Watt, annexe au guide d’enseignement, on Hydro-Quebec
Renewable Diesel, on AFDC
Biodiesel, on AFDC
Imperial approves $720 million for largest renewable diesel facility in Canada, on News.imperialoil
Michael Wolinetz, Sam Harrison, Biofuels in Canada 2022: Tracking biofuel consumption feedstocks and avoided greenhouse gas emissions
Jimmy Thomson, How can Canada’s North get off diesel?

Steve Turton, Climate explained: why is the Arctic warming faster than other parts of the world?
Canada’s arctic tundra, on
Controlled human exposure to diesel exhaust: results illuminate health effects of traffic-related air pollution and inform future directions, on Particleandfibretoxicology.biomedcentral
Controlled human exposure to diesel exhaust: results illuminate health effects of traffic-related air pollution and inform future directions, on Particleandfibretoxicology.biomedcentral
How are greenhouse gas emissions currently evolving?, on Jancovici
Anaïs Badillo, Effet de serre: définition et conséquences sur l’environnement
Qu’est-ce que l’empreinte carbone, on Hellocarbo
Solar photovoltaic: a promising resource for off-grid sites, on Nergica
Economic and ecological design of hybrid renewable energy systems based on a developed IWO/BSA algorithm, on researchgate