Renewable Energy – renewable energy innovation, integration and enablement for carbon neutral facilities, institutions and communities. Energy heats our homes, powers our workplace, fuels our cars, and drives much of our economy. It is fundamental to life as we know it. Nova Scotia faces all the challenges and opportunities that come with producing and consuming energy.
Imagine a world where everyone has access to inexpensive, abundant energy. Imagine a world where even remote locations, including First Nations communities, are able to rely on environmentally friendly and economical energy sources to ensure the health and success of their people. The Verschuren Centre is discovering solutions to improve energy reliability and reduce environmental impacts.
Goal: Capitalize on ape Breton’s abundant natural resources to build understanding and capacity to capture cost effective energy for the region and globally.
Marine renewable energy, which includes tidal, river, and wave sources is a key focus. There are abundant natural resources available and a unique community feed-in-tariff for small-scale marine renewables established in Nova Scotia. As such, there is a competitive advantage to attract marine renewable energy device developers and associated technology providers and foster a global industrial sector.
A 2011 market report from GlobalData (www.globaldata.com) estimates that the worldwide demand for portable generators, which are largely diesel generators, is
currently $12USD billion per year, and is expected to increase to $22USD per year by 2020. For small-scale marine renewable energy devices, the Verschuren Centre is focusing on this existing niche market where marine energy resources enable the offsetting of diesel-fueled generation of electricity, including:
- Remote communities, including First Nation communities.
- Remote industrial project sites, including mining, oil & gas, and telecommunication sites.
- Small island economies.
- Military forward operating facilities.
In these markets, logistics of supply drive diesel prices upwards of $200 per litre resulting in delivered electricity costs upwards of $0.50 per kWh. Fuel supply chain unreliability also endangers food and health of remote workers, as well as capital equipment. Some marine renewable energy technology providers may be able to offer solutions today that reduce electricity prices in these niche applications, improve reliability and reduce environmental impacts. It is expected that technology companies, bootstrapped by a robust niche market, would naturally foster iterative improvements to related technologies used in more challenging large-scale tidal power generation.
- Accelerate small-scale marine renewable energy technology commercialization into existing remote power markets via business-to-business bridging, developer incentive programs, and infrastructure support.
- Foster the deployment, standardize comparative evaluation, and validate performance of marine renewable energy devices in terms of:
- Energy-output performance and levelled cost per kWh generation
- Environmental impact performance
- Design reliability via 12-month continuous operation trials
- Operational and maintenance best practices
- Economic viability and investment readiness
- Identify and promote the lowest cost-of-electricity and highest electricity yield of small-to-medium scale commercial technologies and applications.
- Identify market opportunities and design criteria for rapid commercialization.
- R&D in marine renewable energy devices, balance-of-system and enabling technologies, energy storage for peak-shaving and on-demand electricity capabilities, and operation and maintenance of commercial scale deployments.