Yesterday, the Government of Nova Scotia set a target to offer leases for five gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
In order to phase out Nova Scotia’s dependence on coal, we need clean, reliable and affordable electricity. Wind provides a critical opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, add local grid capacity and provide affordable electricity to power our homes. However, this development plans to convert clean electricity to generate hydrogen for export, even as Nova Scotia does not have sufficient electricity in place to clean up its own dirty grid.
The Ecology Action Centre does not support prioritizing profit over what should be a shared resource for Nova Scotians. New ways of generating electricity must not perpetuate old practices that have created so much inequity in our communities and landed us in the climate and biodiversity collapse crises we find ourselves in today.
Nova Scotia needs a holistic approach to wind development. This means before any project is approved, we need to ensure communities are consulted on siting and engaged in community benefits analysis, the development minimizes impacts on sensitive ecosystems, prior and informed consent is given to local Mi’kmaw communities, and models of community ownership are prioritized over for-profit wind development.
Before we talk about exporting hydrogen, we should be exploring how wind development can support our grid and can provide direct support to other regional partners.
Yesterday’s announcement is yet another example of how this government is making bold claims to be a climate leader, without accountability to its citizens or a clear plan on how our climate goals will be met.
Energy Coordinator | Ecology Action Centre