In this commentary, Bill Black of New Start Nova Scotia takes a look at Nova Scotia’s current Renewable Electricity Plan. Rising power rates are of serious concern to many Nova Scotian families and business owners who are energy-dependent. For example, rising energy costs for the NewPage mill in Cape Breton would likely send workers to the Albertan oil sands, and paper production jobs to China – a nation which produces 70% of its electricity from coal. Black asks, is this really our most environmentally friendly option?
Black agrees that moving toward greenhouse gasses is a responsible choice, but shutting down plants for resources such as coal before their natural closing dates is fiscally irresponsible. Assessing the cost of hydro, wind and tidal energy, he concludes that the province has the right goals but should outline a more flexible time frame.
Bill Black offers some suggestions as to how he thinks Nova Scotia’s Renewable Electricity Plan should look, and stresses the importance of flexibility and fiscal responsibility in the plan.
In his most recent addition to Power Plays, Black examines Nova Scotia Power’s 2013 rate increase. The rate increase request includes a substantial element arising from serious funding deficiencies in its pension plan. The UARB has been hearing evidence on the request. Black questions this is a problem that customers should pay for?
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