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January 2008 

Scotian Windfields Energy Strategy Submission

Halifax, NS - January 7, 2008 – Scotian WindFields has issued their response to the Department of Energy regarding the renewed Energy Strategy and Climate Change Action Plan. The focus of this submission is that the renewable energy resources in Nova Scotia could supply 100% of the province’s energy needs. Nova Scotia is home to world class renewable energy resources from the wind, the tides, and ocean waves. Add in traditional renewable resources, such as solar, hydro, and geothermal and we see that a 100% renewable energy mix is possible for Nova Scotia. The goal of the Renewed Energy Strategy of the Department of Energy should be to provide a roadmap to 100% renewable energy.

The Scotian WindFields’ submission provides recommendations which are low-cost to no-cost to both the government and to energy consumers. These options will enable the development of renewable energy and will result in “sustainable prosperity” for Nova Scotia. These recommendations are based on the principles that renewable energy is more cost effective than other energy options, ensures energy security, promotes diversified community development and prosperity, and is essential to an environmentally sustainable energy infrastructure.

The views of nearly all of the participants in the public meetings about the Energy Strategy, and of the over 450 Nova Scotian families that have invested in their local WindFields, have helped formulate the recommendations in this report. The recommendations include:

  • allowing all electricity consumers the choice to purchase renewable energy directly from independent green energy producers
  • expansion of net metering policy for onsite production of renewable energy
  • revision of the method that Utilities procure renewable energy
  • to establish an Independent System Operator to manage and upgrade electricity transmission and distribution, and to encourage export of renewable energy
  • an in-depth study of the actual costs to our health care system and environment from fossil fuel energy use
  • to institute a public education program for all Nova Scotians regarding climate change, GHG emissions and other pollutants
  • formation of a cap and trade emission reduction system using project based carbon credits

The goals of the recent Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act are lofty, however this would not be the first time Nova Scotia has tackled an important environmental issue. In 1989 the Nova Scotia government led the world by adopting an aggressive goal of diverting 50% of waste from landfills. In 2008, Nova Scotia is still enjoying the outcomes of that vision. Nova Scotia is recognized around the globe as a leader in solid waste expertise and technology. We continue to enjoy economic and environmental benefits from that innovation in policy leadership so many years ago, and the renewable energy industry can benefit in a similar manner from this renewed Energy

It is clear from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that we have no choice but to reduce our carbon emissions. To choose any other path will lead to environmental and economic ruin. Therefore, Nova Scotia must exceed their stated goal of reduction by 10% of 1990 levels by 2020.

In addition to the submission regarding Energy Strategy, Scotian WindFields has also updated their “10 Myths of Renewable Energy” document, which outlines many of the misconceptions that have played a role in limiting progressive action on climate change so far in Nova Scotia.

The path to prosperity lies within sustainability. Government needs to recognize the value in our natural capital and institute policies and plan accordingly. When benchmarking incorporates natural capital, health, and community economic development, policies and strategies will naturally lead to sustainability and economic prosperity for all of Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Government’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act of 2007, indicates that “Nova Scotia will have one of the cleanest and most sustainable environments in the world”. To that end, the renewed Energy Strategy and Climate Action Plan outlines two essential pillars that support the government’s vision:

  • 10 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than 1990 levels by the year 2020
  • economic performance to the Canadian average or better

Developing a robust renewable energy industry in Nova Scotia is the answer to these twin goals of sustainability and prosperity.

Nova Scotia should be able to enjoy clean air, a reduced carbon footprint, healthy communities, and a thriving economy with a 100% renewable, 100% local and secure energy supply. The Energy Strategy of the government of Nova Scotia should enable that vision.

Scotian WindFields submission and supporting documents are all available on their website. Scotian WindFields encourages all Nova Scotians to write to the Department of Energy at n energystrategy@gov.ns.ca This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it before the January 11th deadline, to voice their opinions regarding Energy and Climate Change at this important stage in dealing with these issues. Issues that promise to be the most important challenges for Nova Scotia in the 21st Century.

For Further Information Contact:
Dan Roscoe
Vice President - Communications
Scotian WindFields Inc

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Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
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