Energy

Impacts

  • Hydro-electricity: Climate change can impact energy supply in a number of ways. Reduced groundwater levels can impact Nova Scotia’s domestic production of hydroelectricity – which accounts for eight per cent of total power supply.
  • Fuel Shipments: Extreme weather events from climate change can also disrupt international shipping; most of Nova Scotia’s energy supply arrives via ship in the form of imported coal and oil.
  • Occupational Health and Safety: Offshore oil and gas – a major contributor to the Atlantic Canadian economy, are highly sensitive to extreme weather, and are an important occupational health and safety issue for the many supply and service personnel who work on the ocean.  Even a temporary evacuation from an offshore platform comes at significant expense.
  • Changes in Energy Demand: Warmer winters could decrease peak electricity load, thereby reducing or delaying the need for new generation and saving consumers new expenses.  This needs to be tempered by the fact that summers are going to be, on average, hotter and this could increase demand for air conditioning.  There may also be more power disruptions if the electricity grid is unable to handle constant impacts from extreme weather events.

Adaptation

  • Strengthen Infrastructure: Upgrades to transmission and distribution infrastructure to better withstand extreme weather events.
  • Expand Energy Sources: Diversification of low impact domestic sources of renewable energy resources in Nova Scotia and regionally to ensure security of supply.
  • Enhance Reliability: Re-examining existing rules and regulations regarding electricity reliability and compliance, to ensure current strategies are adequate to deal with new climate variability and extremes.
  • Control Demand: Strengthen current management strategies to deal with changes in supply and demand and peak loading times.
  • Protect Energy Workers: Re-examining contingency plans for extreme events and occupational health and safety standards.