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Groups join up to push Arctic renewable energy: 'toughest place in the world'

Six organizations have banded together to help remote Arctic communities reduce diesel power generation and expand large-scale, renewable energy.

And when it comes to renewable energy, if they can make it there they can make it anywhere.

Paul Crowley of the World Wildlife Fund Canada says from Iqaluit that creating reliable renewables is a particular challenge in the Arctic, which he calls the toughest place on earth for renewable energy.

But the alliance — which includes the University of Waterloo's Institute for Sustainable Energy, an Alaska energy institute and Inuit and local utility groups — wants to have at least three northern communities running large-scale, renewable energy projects by 2020.

Provincial and territorial leaders recently agreed that getting Canada's 300 diesel-dependent communities on a more sustainable power grid is a priority and last week's federal budget put almost $11 million toward the goal over two years.

Crowley says the stars appear to be aligning on getting renewable energy into the Arctic.

— Follow @BCheadle on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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