Originally published in the June 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - National Environment Week (June 3-9) special advertising feature
Nova Scotia is another step closer to turning its abundant ocean energy resources into an affordable supply of clean, renewable electricity.
The Government of Nova Scotia recently released a plan that outlines how it will use local expertise and knowledge to develop the emerging energy sector on a provincial, national and global scale.
The Marine Renewable Energy Strategy contains broad policy, economic and legal conditions for renewable energy projects and technologies for commercial development in the province.
“It represents a provincial commitment to cleaner and made-in-Nova Scotia energy solutions,” says Energy Minister Charlie Parker. “It continues the careful approach we have already taken to explore the potential of tidal electricity in Nova Scotia.”
It incorporates feedback from consultations with interested groups and the Mi'kmaq.
It focuses on three main areas:
3) Regulatory planning
The regulation framework, which is being developed, will protect Nova Scotians' interests and the environment while providing opportunities to invent, design, test and develop the right technologies to harness the province's marine renewable energy.
This report acts on recommendations by Dalhousie University oceanographer Bob Fournier, whose September 2011 report recommended developing a provincial marine renewable strategy and legislation. He outlined 27 recommendations in “Marine Renewable Energy Legislation: A Consultative Approach”, which focused on in-stream tidal development.
The strategy addresses all of Fournier's recommendations.
“After five years of intense activity in the pursuit of marine renewable energy, the Department of Energy has produced a strategic plan,” says Fournier. “This plan, grounded in public consultation and thoughtful decision-making, is a roadmap that establishes goals, defines priorities and sets benchmarks against which Nova Scotians will be able to measure their progress. This is a useful and important document.”
Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy(FORCE) chair John Woods agrees that the plan shows Nova Scotia is thinking long term about tidal energy.
“The province is considering everything from environmental effects to costs to economic benefits — all of this is important if tidal is to become part of our future energy mix.”
• In 2010, the province set a goal that 40 per cent of electricity would come from renewable sources by 2020, nearly four times higher than 2009 levels. The commitment is outlined in the Renewable Electricity Plan.
• Reaching the 2020 goal is estimated to generate up to $1.5 billion of investment in Nova Scotia and create 5,000 to 7,500 person hours of employment.
• The Bay of Fundy is an enormous energy resource with more than 160 billion tonnes of water flow with each tide, delivering a commercial potential of about 2,400 MW of power.
• A large in-stream tidal project with a capacity of 300 MW could replace about 10 per cent of the province's current power supply.
Courtesy of the Government of Nova Scotia
* Read more "Environment Week" stories at: http://www.ns.dailybusinessbuzz.ca/Industry-Spotlight/National-Environment-Week-23763