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 2019

    Description:
    This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Yukon from 2008 to 2018. Over this period, natural gas production has deceased from 4.9 Mcf/d to none since 2012.

  • Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2018)

    Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2018)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Yukon. A total of 0.5 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2018.

  • Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER, Natural Resources Canada, Yukon Energy

    Description:
    This map shows electricity generation facilities in Yukon. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.

    Download:
    PDF version [767 KB]

  • Figure 4: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Figure 4: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER

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

    Download:
    PDF version [508 KB]

  • Figure 5: End-Use Demand by Sector (2017)

    Figure 5: End-Use Demand by Sector (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Yukon by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 7.9 PJ in 2017. The largest sector was transportation at 58% of total demand, followed by industrial (at 20%), commercial (at 13%), and lastly, residential (at 9%).

  • Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2017)

    Figure 6: End-use demand by fuel (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Yukon in 2017. Refined petroleum products accounted for 6.1 PJ (77%) of demand, electricity at 1.6 PJ (20%), and natural gas at 0.2 PJ (3%). There was no end-use demand of biofuels or other.
    Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.

  • Figure 7: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Figure 7: 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 2017 in MT of CO2 equivalent. Total GHG emissions have remained unchanged, from 0.53 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 0.53 MT of CO2e in 2017.

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. More than 75 wells have been completed in Yukon from five of the eight basins. The majority of these wells were drilled in the 1960s and 1970s. More recently, four wells were drilled in the Eagle Plain Basin in 2012-2013.
  • In December 2016, the federal government announced that Canadian Arctic offshore, including areas offshore of the Yukon, is indefinitely off limits to new offshore oil and gas licensing to be reviewed every five years. The first five year review is due in 2021.
  • 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. Also in 2019, the government announced that it will freeze the terms of existing licenses in the Arctic offshore to preserve existing rights.

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 2018, Yukon generated about 0.5 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 0.1% of total Canadian generation. Yukon has a generating capacity of 124 megawatts (MW).
  • Yukon Energy Corporation is publicly-owned and generates most of Yukon’s electricity.
  • ATCO Electric Yukon, a privately owned company, also contributes some power generation.
    1.3 MW from the Fish Lake hydro plant near Whitehorse, diesel-power generation facilities in five communities that are not connected to the territorial grid system, and several stand-by diesel generation facilities throughout the Territory.
  • Yukon generates the majority of its electricity from hydro sources. In 2018, hydroelectricity accounted for 94% of total generation. Yukon has four hydro plants with a total capacity of nearly 95 MW (Figure 3). 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.
  • Yukon’s only wind power plant is the 0.7 MW Haeckel Hill facility.
  • 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 economically feasible. The 8.8 MW Whitehorse LNG power plant started operations in 2015, with a third LNG unit installed in 2018.

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, Northwest Territories (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 and then removed. 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 the FortisBC small-scale LNG facility at Tilbury Island near Vancouver, B.C. The LNG is used at Yukon Energy’s Whitehorse facility for electricity generation.
  • There are no current or 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 more than 18 000 customers in 19 communities.
  • Because of long distances to generation facilities in neighboring 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 towards the construction of a battery storage system in the Yukon. A location for the battery has not yet been decided. Once completed, the 8 MW battery would be largest grid-connected battery in northern Canada.
  • Yukon Utilities Board regulates electricity, namely, the two utility companies that operate in the territory.

Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Total Energy Consumption

  • End-use demand in Yukon was 7.9 petajoules (PJ) in 2017. The largest sector for energy demand was transportation at 58% of total demand, followed by industrial at 20%, commercial at 13%, and residential at 9% (Figure 5). 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 6.1 PJ, or 77%. Electricity and natural gas accounted for 1.6 PJ (20%) and 0.2 PJ (3%), respectively (Figure 6).

Refined Petroleum Products

  • Virtually all of the gasoline consumed in Yukon is produced in Alberta or B.C., but occasionally some small volumes are also imported from Alaska. Other RPPs, including diesel and heating oil, are produced in neighbouring provinces or imported from U.S. refineries in Alaska or elsewhere.
  • Yukon’s RPP demand data is not publically available for 2018. 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 in communities not connected to the electrical grid, and when hydroelectric generation is insufficient to meet power demands for those on the territorial grid.
  • Yukon’s RPP demand data is not publically available for 2018.

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 2017, annual electricity consumption per capita in Yukon was 11.1 megawatt hours (MW.h). Yukon ranked 9th in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 24% less than the national average.
  • Yukon’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2017 was commercial at 0.21 TW.h. The residential and industrial sectors consumed 0.18 TW.h and 0.05 TW.h, respectively. Yukon’s electricity demand has grown 49% since 2005.
  • Yukon has the lowest electricity prices of the territories because of its hydroelectric infrastructure. Residential rates are approximately 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kW.h) for the first 1 000 .h 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 2017 were 532 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e)Footnote 1. Yukon’s emissions have decreased 1% since 1990.
  • Yukon’s emissions per capita are the fifth lowest in Canada at 13.4 tonnes of CO2e – 31% below the Canadian average of 19.6 tonnes per capita.
  • The largest emitting sectors in Yukon are transportation at 80% of emissions, buildings (residential and commercial) at 7%, and industrial at 7% (Figure 7).
  • Yukon had no oil and gas production in 2017 and therefore, had zero GHG emissions associated with the oil and gas sector.
  • In 2017, Yukon’s power sector emitted 24.4 kilotonnes of CO2e emissions, which represents a very small fraction of Canada’s total GHG emissions from power generation.
  • Yukon implemented its Yukon Biomass Energy Strategy in February 2016, aiming to reduce the territory’s dependence on fossil fuels, reduce GHG emissions, and increase Yukon’s energy self-sufficiency.
  • Yukon’s Micro Generation Policy (MGP) offers incentives for residential and commercial customers to produce electricity from renewable sources and sell the surplus to the grid. In June 2018, the territory had 155 solar micro-generators connected to the grid with a combined capacity of 1.4 MW.

More Information

Data Sources

Provincial & Territorial Energy Profiles aligns with CER’s latest Canada’s Energy Future 2019 datasets. Energy Future uses a variety of data sources, generally starting with Statistics Canada data as the foundation, and making adjustments depending on individual province/territory circumstances.  Adjustments are necessary to ensure consistency and comparability across provinces/territories.

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