An energy evolution

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”20″][mk_dropcaps style=”simple-style”]N[/mk_dropcaps]ova Scotia is like a microcosm of Canada. The country’s second-smallest province is blessed with diverse natural surroundings and plentiful resources, and an economy based on those local assets. For the most part, Nova Scotia’s energy mix has been no different — relying on local fossil fuels, and now renewables, to keep its residents’ lights humming.[/vc_column_text][mk_custom_box border_width=”1″ bg_color=”#d9d9d9″ bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” padding_vertical=”5″ padding_horizental=”5″ margin_bottom=”15″ min_height=”100″][mk_image src=”” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”true” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″ el_class=”Image-Description”]Nova Scotia plans to further develop its tidal energy opportunities.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″ el_class=”Photo-Caption”]PHOTO COURTESY FORCE (FUNDY OCEAN RESEARCH CENTER FOR ENERGY[/vc_column_text][/mk_custom_box][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_image src=”” image_width=”675″ image_height=”4000″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Local energy production wasn’t always the focus, however. In the mid-1900s — after almost a century of primarily burning local oil for most
of its power — Nova Scotia began to shift away from local resources and toward international imports. That left the province at the mercy
of volatile price fluctuations, which hit hard during the 1970s OPEC oil crisis. The soaring prices brought Nova Scotia’s energy focus back home
again — this time in the form of new coal plants based in Cape Breton.

More recently, Nova Scotia is undergoing another energy transformation, moving away from its heavy reliance on fossil fuels, particularly coal, by adding greater variety and cleaner renewable sources to the mix — including solar, wind, hydro and tidal power. Proponents of the move hope it will create new jobs for Nova Scotians, while keeping its focus on local resources over imported power sources.

By 2020, the province projects that 40 per cent of its electricity needs will come from renewable energy sources, enough to power more than
500,000 homes. Hydro will play a key role in the effort, especially when Newfoundland and Labrador’s Lower Churchill hydro development
is completed around 2016. With the Bay of Fundy offering the world’s highest tides, Nova Scotia is also looking to develop more tidal energy opportunities.

Since many renewable power sources are intermittent, they require a more stable electricity source as backup. Natural gas from within the province will fill this role, since it burns cleaner than coal or oil, and releases less carbon, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the environment.[mk_font_icons icon=”icon-stop” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none”][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″ el_class=”Story-Author”]— Siobhan McClelland[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]