Nova Scotia: Electro-State

Coverage of Is Coal Still King? Event
Renewable energy expert Neal Livingston says Nova Scotia will export its renewable energy and keep the coal burning
Tom MacDonald
Halifax Media Co-op / The Dominion
Date published: 
Sun, 2010-11-28


Nova Scotia could soon follow in the footsteps of the Alberta tar sands energy boom. But instead of exporting upgraded bitumen, Nova Scotia – the province with the 4th largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions - would play a rather ironic role: that of renewable energy exporter.

“We’re becoming a sort of an electro-state the same way that you can be a petro-state like Alberta where, you know, very few interests really are the dominant players in the society,” says Neal Livingston. “All this hooey we heard about having to be better [grid]-connected to north-eastern North America, when you think about it now, it’s all about our preparation for export.”

Livingston, a filmmaker with 40 titles under his belt, has been a renewable energy practitioner in Cape Breton for 30 years. He owns the Black River brand of renewable energy companies, the holdings of which include a hydro facility and several industrial scale wind turbines in development. This week he delivered a public presentation to a small crowd gathered at The Hub in Halifax.

Livingston has been trying to sound the alarm on Nova Scotia’s energy policy by calling into question the motivations behind the government’s new Renewable Electricity Plan. The recently released plan requires that, by 2025, 40% of the electricity that Nova Scotia Power sells in a given year must come from renewable energy sources.



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