For Nova Scotians, clear power has been within the information so much currently.
The province not too long ago unveiled its plan for 50 per cent wind energy by 2030 alongside further photo voltaic. Every week later, the federal authorities introduced $12 million to assist Nova Scotia with electrical energy grid upgrades. Over that very same timeframe, the Atlantic Loop was seemingly deserted after which resurrected and modified.
In the meantime, a brand new report discovered that an East Coast offshore wind business — widespread in Europe and Asia however nonetheless nascent in North America — might flip Atlantic Canada into an “power superpower” just like “what oil was to Texas or hydro energy to Quebec.”
That’s so much to absorb over the course of 1 month, and it naturally raises questions for Nova Scotians questioning what this outright transformation of their power system won’t solely appear to be however the way it will have an effect on them personally, particularly at a time when each greenback counts.
Whereas the transition to scrub power will hardly upend your life-style — clear electrical energy continues to be electrical energy, an electrical automobile continues to be only a automobile, and a extra power environment friendly home continues to be a spot to name residence — the best way by which you pay for power will change. Understanding this transformation is vital to understanding the affordability advantages of fresh power.
Renewables are extraordinarily cost-competitive (wind is already extensively thought-about the lowest-cost supply of electrical energy in Nova Scotia) however we’re going to want much more energy as we transition our houses, automobiles and companies off fossil fuels.
There’s a price to constructing new electrical energy technology to satisfy this demand, however the financial savings can be larger. Consider it this fashion: including $40 to your month-to-month electrical energy invoice to energy your automobile is cheaper than no matter you had been paying to fill it with gasoline.
Canadian and worldwide research have proven that the transition to scrub power will make power extra reasonably priced for households. New analysis from Clear Vitality Canada, in the meantime, discovered that households that select clear power options (like EVs and warmth pumps) over much less environment friendly ones (like gasoline vehicles, pure gasoline heating and air con) considerably decrease their power prices.
We not too long ago ran this evaluation for Nova Scotia, the place a suburban household that ditches fossil fuels totally in favour of fresh power alternate options can save $940 a month. Even a household that goes midway — swapping one in all two vehicles for an EV and getting a warmth pump however protecting their gasoline furnace as a backup — can pocket an additional $554 every month. Each eventualities embrace tools prices within the month-to-month invoice.
If that sounds too good to be true, take into account the excessive, risky prices of gasoline in comparison with the predictable prices of electrical energy. Think about how way more costly gasoline automobile sticker costs have gotten over the previous few years (not to mention gasoline costs), in lots of instances virtually catching up with comparable EVs.
Or take into account the function that governments have performed and may proceed enjoying. The federal authorities supplies $5,000 off the acquisition worth of eligible EVs, whereas the Province of Nova Scotia gives drivers a further $3,000.
The feds even have warmth pump and clear power residence improve packages, the quantities for which had been elevated final week when the federal government introduced a carbon worth pause on oil heating. These packages successfully make warmth pumps free for low-income households in Atlantic Canada switching from oil, and a very whole lot for everybody else. Households that swap oil heating for cold-climate warmth pumps usually save as much as $2,500 yearly on their power payments.
The fast transformation of Nova Scotia’s electrical energy system from local weather change-causing coal energy to renewables like wind and photo voltaic might sound drastic, and it’s solely pure to fret in regards to the invoice. However with all of the items in place, the clear power transition actually is extra reasonably priced for everybody.
It’s on our elected officers to point out Nova Scotians and all Canadians the best way ahead by serving to them make the change.
This submit is co-authored by Mark Zacharias and initially appeared in Saltwire.