Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024
Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia – Today, the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) released a statement raising concerns over the use of land-based wind energy projects in Nova Scotia to power the production of hydrogen and ammonia for export overseas. In the statement, the EAC urges decision makers to prioritize wind energy projects that help N.S. replace fossil fuel use on its own electricity grid, and to ensure that project approvals adequately consider potential negative effects on communities and the environment.
“There’s no question that Nova Scotia urgently needs to build renewable energy infrastructure,” says David Neira, energy coordinator with the EAC. “But that infrastructure must first be used to offer clean, affordable electricity for Nova Scotians and their families. In order to protect future generations, our priority must be to get Nova Scotia off fossil fuels – the main driver of climate change – not the creation of hydrogen and ammonia for export overseas.”
The statement goes on to express concerns over where and how land-based wind energy projects are being built.
“We have a very limited landmass in Nova Scotia,” states Karen McKendry, senior wilderness outreach coordinator with the EAC. “We need to make sure we’re building these projects in appropriate areas and in ways that minimize negative effects on our environment and communities. The best way to do this is through a comprehensive land-use strategy and a thorough environmental assessment process – both of which are sorely lacking in Nova Scotia.”
The EAC is concerned by what they see as a growing trend of wind farm projects being approved despite having increasingly weak environmental assessment submissions and project-specific terms and conditions.
“We need to be critical and thoughtful about where and how we build any large-scale industrial project,” says McKendry. “That’s true of wind farms just as much as anything else.”
The EAC stresses that they are fully in support of land-based wind energy production – and are particularly pleased to see projects developed in partnership with Mi’kmaq communities – but that the energy produced by these projects must first be used to benefit Nova Scotians and the environment.
“At the end of the day our stance is very simple,” says Neira. “Before thinking about exports and corporate profits, we need to use local wind energy to benefit Nova Scotians by greening our own grid and making life more affordable, and we must build these projects in areas that minimize harm to our communities and the environment. Nova Scotians deserve clean, affordable energy and intact biodiversity.”