Province Outlines Steps To Develop Marine Renewable Energy

Published by the Department of Energy

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nova Scotia has taken another step towards turning its abundant ocean energy resources into an affordable supply of clean, renewable electricity.


It represents a provincial commitment to cleaner and made-in-Nova Scotia energy solutions. It continues the careful approach we have already taken to explore the potential of tidal electricity in Nova Scotia. Energy Minister Charlie Parker

The strategy will guide work related to in-stream tidal development. We have tapped into the expertise and knowledge of local experts to ensure it is implemented in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Energy Minister Charlie Parker

After five years of intense activity in the pursuit of marine renewable energy, the Department of Energy has produced a strategic plan. 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. Bob Fournier, Dalhousie University oceanographer

This strategy will ensure that Nova Scotia plays a major leadership role in the marine renewable energy industry worldwide. It provides the conditions to realize industrial-scale development of tidal energy. Elisa Obermann, Atlantic director, Ocean Renewable Energy Group

This 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. FORCE chair John Woods.

Quick Facts

  • The province released the Marine Renewable Energy Strategy, which outlines how it will use local expertise and knowledge to develop the emerging energy sector.
  • The strategy contains broad policy, economic and legal conditions for renewable energy projects and technologies for commercial development in the province.
  • It incorporates feedback from consultations with interested groups and the Mi'kmaq.
  • It focuses on three main areas: research; development; and 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.
  • The report acts on recommendations by Dalhousie University oceanographer Bob Fournier, whose September 2011 report recommended developing a provincial marine renewable strategy and legislation.
  • Mr. Fournier outlined 27 recommendations in Marine Renewable Energy Legislation: A Consultative Approach, which focused on in-stream tidal development.
  • The strategy addresses all of Mr. Forunier's recommendations.
  • 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 tons 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.

Learn More

Media Contact

Jackie Van Amburg
Department of Energy


Nova Scotia's rugged coastline offers plenty of opportunities for in-stream tidal power generation. Shown here is the Cape d'Or Lighthouse.
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New Energy Corporation's 5 kW EnCurrent tidal turbine test.
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Nova Scotia's rugged coastline offers plenty of opportunities for in-stream tidal power generation. Shown here is the Boar's Head Lighthouse.
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Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro's turbine is towed in Halifax Harbour before being deployed in the Bay of Fundy.
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A tidal turbine is towed in the Halifax Harbour in front of the Dartmouth shoreline.
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Energy Minister Charlie Parker releases the province's Marine Renewable Energy Strategy.
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Bob Fournier, Dalhousie University oceanographer, applauded the province's Marine Renewable Energy Strategy, which addressed the 27 recommendations in his report.
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Energy Minister Charlie Parker says the strategy is about getting tidal power out of the water and onto the grid.
Mr. Parker says the strategy was developed after broad consultation.
Bob Fournier talks about what the Marine Renewable Energy Strategy accomplishes.
FORCE chair John Woods give his impression of the strategy
Matthew Lumley of FORCE talks about the vision provided by the announcement.