Renewable Electricity & Emissions Regulations

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Renewable Electricity & Emissions Regulations

Renewable Energy Standard

In early 2007 and updated in 2010, provincial regulations known as Nova Scotia’s Renewable Energy Standard were put in place that have helped guide the transformation in how we generate electricity today, and mandate targets for the future. Working together with governments, independent power producers, and others, we are meeting these requirements and putting in place new sources of electricity that reduce our reliance on coal and provide stable prices for years to come.

The regulations will lead us to have 40% of our electricity coming from renewable energy in 2020.

Greenhouse Gases and Air Emissions

Most of Nova Scotia’s electricity is still generated by coal, considered among the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Around the world, heightened environmental concerns are driving change in how electricity is often generated and governments are enacting legislation on electricity industries to reduce their impact on climate change and human health.

Here in Nova Scotia, provincial regulations limit the amounts of greenhouse gases (CO2e) and air pollutants of mercury (Hg), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) that can be emitted from the stacks of our power plants. Over time, the limits tighten so that fewer and fewer emissions will be released. In the case of greenhouse gases, regulations require a 25% reduction over the 2010 to 2020 period, meaning the maximum GHG emissions that we can emit from the stacks of our plants in 2020 is 7.5 megatonnes (Mt). The regulations deal with all greenhouse gasses whether from oil, natural gas or coal and allow us to find the lowest cost approach to meet the 7.5 Mt cap. Reducing our use of coal and using new equipment to help make coal and gas generation as clean as it can be have helped reduce emissions from our coal plants in Lingan, Point Tupper, Point Aconi and Trenton, and our natural gas plant at Tufts Cove, Dartmouth, to 7.6 Mt of greenhouse gases in 2012.  This is our lowest total in many years and positions us well on our way to the 2020 limit of 7.5 Mt.

We post our yearly greenhouse gas and air emissions levels online, which you can view in detail.