The best renewable energy source? 

Today the attention for renewable energy is on wind or solar, but investments can be less than economical in remote areas. Hydro power can grow in the coming decades with an important break through like the HUG, based on the vortex power of water.

vortex power of water HUG

The federal government spends about $9 billion per year to supplement First Nations’ other revenue sources, not including waived revenues from tax exemptions. With over 500 projects representing over $500 billion in potential in resource and energy initiatives in Canada “in the hands of First Nations” on land the First Nations could claim as traditional homelands.

One important element to understand is the impact that energy has on these communities and how expensive it is to provide reliable electricity to their population. Another element is to realise how little has been done to integrate local resources to the energy mix of these communities. Only Quebec, NWT and the Yukon use hydroelectricity on a large scale to provide electricity to a number of communities. BC has a few communities relying on hydroelectricity on an individual basis. Very little solar, wind and biomass projects have been installed successfully in Canada. The fact is that remote communities must find ways to become more self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable.

In Ontario, there are 38 remote communities with a population of 21,342 (2006 Census). Of these communities, 25 are Aboriginal communities with a total of 14,236 peoples or two/thirds of the remote communities’ population for an average of 570 residents per reserve.

The high installation costs of the renewable energy technologies in remote communities cost can be as high as 2.5 times of an equivalent on-grid system. Eight of these sites report an average retail electricity price of 17 cents/kWh and nine sites report a service rate (non-subsidised) of 94 cents/kWh. This would tend to indicate that a subsidy of about 77 cents/kWh is provided to retail consumers.

Estimated Costs of Remote Renewable Energy 

Capital Expense
Small Wind Turbine

15% -42% effective

Solar  Photovoltaic

10 %- 12% effective

Battery Bank
HUG Hydro:  90% effective  24/7
$/kW % $/kW % $/kW % $/kW %


7,289 54 3,700 44 348 54 5,208 54



13 1,840 22 48 7





5 600 7




639 5 653 8 134 21 482


Operate Crane


5 193


Spare Parts


7 554 7 40 6





12 1,019 12 80 12 1,157


TOTAL 13,414 100 8,365 100 650 100 9,644


$/kW/year   $/kW/year   $/kW/year   $/kW/year
O & M Cost


2.5 42 0.5 13 2.0 48 0.5

The additional project parameters used are: a discount rate of 8%, a project lifetime of 15 years, and an electric load of 89 MWh/day.

Solar Energy Wind

HUG Small HydroHug Renewable Remote Energy

The HUG System has a Total Estimated Cost of $9,644/KW x 7 HUG Turbines = $67,500/kW x 40.8 kW = $2,763,000 for 2,130 MWh or $1.30/kWh or $0.092/kWh to spread the initial costs over the 15 year lifetime.

Add O & M Costs: $0.005/kWh less $0.01/kWh Federal Grant = $0.097/kWh. In other words, with government assistance, the cost of remote electricity in Northern Ontario would be $.097/kWh. What a Bargain!

Presently, unsubsidized Electricity Prices in Remote Areas cost $0.94/kWh. Government subsidizes at the rate of 90% or $0.845/kWh. This translates into a savings of $0.753/kWh of subsidies from Federal, Provincial and Ontario rate payers.

Without government assistance, a 20% Return on Investment would require $520,000/year or a reduced subsidy of $0.22/kWh instead of the present $0.77/kWh subsidy. In fact, both provincial and federal governments can save the Ontario FIT grant of 11.5%: $318,000 on their investment of $2,763,000. The real ROI would be $0.17/kWh (retail price) less $0.097/kWh = $0.073/kWh x 2,130 MWh = $155,500 or 5.6% ROI including $0.01/kWh Federal Grant and total recovery of all investments in 15 years.


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