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The Atlantic Electricity Vision

About the Atlantic Electricity Vision

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Ecology Action Centre are excited to launch the Atlantic Electricity Vision series of reports, webinars and research to show that affordable, reliable, sustainable electricity is possible in our region, right now. Cleaner electricity can help make us safer, more secure and healthier. We can use it to help make electricity affordable for everyone, reliable for when we need it, and cleaner for our health and for our planet.

Our definition of cleaner electricity has two components. First, cleaner electricity relies primarily on non-polluting sources like wind, solar and existing hydro technologies and it is used efficiently. These renewable technologies have lower environmental impact than electricity generated from coal, oil and natural gas that generate greenhouse gases when burned causing the global heating that is supercharging our weather. Second, our sustainable electricity portfolio needs to be affordable and reliable.

The Atlantic Electricity Vision series is focused on the transition to electricity that phases out coal and ensures our regional electricity system is 90 per cent emissions free before 2030 as required by federal policy and climate change regulations.

Are small modular nuclear reactors part of an affordable, reliable, sustainable electricity future? Find out more here.

As a key part of the Just and Green Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, clean electricity can build green careers, bring health and economic benefits to communities and help us emerge from the pandemic better off than when we began.

Affordable

No one wants to pay more for electricity.

Reliable

We all want reliable electricity.

Sustainable

What does a sustainable electricity system look like?

Featured Study

Why do Wind Energy Projects Fail?

The enduring effects of process and distributional unfairness

Electricity demand is expected to increase significantly in Canada and globally in the coming decades as we shift off fossil fuels to solve climate change. Growth in electricity demand will come largely from increased electrification of transportation, home heating and industrial processes. This shift is already underway with the sale of electric vehicles, announcement of federal and provincial funding of off-oil home heating programs, and industrial use of electricity to make steel and hydrogen.

Given electrification is one of the most important climate change solutions pathways, it is no surprise that the Conservation Council is a proponent of affordable and reliable renewable energy. Our desire for success, however, cannot come at the expense of people and the communities they live in. 

This case study shares what we have learned about why two wind energy projects proposed for northern New Brunswick failed, and offers recommendations to increase the chances for community acceptance of renewable energy projects in the future.

Read the full report here:  English | French

Read the executive summary here: English | French

Download presentation slides here: English | French

Transportation

Technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries for electric vehicles require significant mineral inputs. Yet, the is still an associated climate impact.

It is crucial that the transition to a sustainable economy is fair for workers and Indigenous communities, here and abroad. 

View this factsheet.

The transportation sector, which includes our vehicles, cars, industrial trucks, and so on, accounts for 29 percent of N.B.’s total emissions, but our own personal vehicles account for 70 percent of that total.

By switching to electric vehicles, trucks and transit, we can reduce the amount of pollution in our air and stabilize our climate.

View this factsheet.

School buses in New Brunswick account for 30 percent of the province’s fleet of government-owned vehicles. That’s a significant portion of the provincial government’s vehicle emissions and resulting air pollution that can be prevented every year.

By switching to electric school buses, we can reduce the amount of air pollution our children are exposed to and stabilize our climate.

Electricity supply issues

We are told that shipping liquified methane gas to Europe can address energy supply issues due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

We are told we could convert the Saint John Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant from an import facility to an export facility within three years. 

But are all these arguments factual?

View this factsheet.

The Belledune Generating Station is responsible for 13 percent of New Brunswick’s total emissions. Promoting biomass as a solution to large-scale electricity generation could increase demand, and in turn, increase unsustainable forestry practices.

By switching to non-polluting sources of energy like solar and wind instead of singular solutions like burning biomass, we can support sustainable forestry practices that help stabilize our climate.

View this factsheet.

Download the letter from CCNB:

Affordable

No one wants to pay more for electricity.

Reliable

We all want reliable electricity.

Sustainable

What does a sustainable electricity system look like?

New Brunswickers Deserve Facts, Not Hype, On Liquefied Natural Gas

Premier Blaine Higgs is pushing a private-sector company, Repsol, to convert its Saint John LNG (liquefied natural gas) import terminal into an export terminal for energy security, economic development and energy transition.

We are told that shipping liquified natural gas to Europe can address energy supply issues due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We are told we could convert the Saint John LNG plant from an import facility to an export facility within three years. We are told that there could be economic development if we lift the province’s shale gas moratorium to speed up the process and make the conversion more cost effective relative to other methane gas supply and pipeline options. The Premier also says New Brunswick can advance energy transition by converting the LNG export terminal to hydrogen in the future and that it could “easily be converted.”

But are these arguments factual? In a word, no Read the resources below to see why.

Read the full briefing note here:  English | French

Read Dr. Louise Comeau’s commentary on the issue here: English | French.

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