Canadian Marine Renewable Energy Industry Sets out its Vision and Strategy; Nova Scotia Develops Policies and Legislation

Based on the discussions in three workshops involving more than 100 experts from government, industry and academia, a national vision and strategy for marine energy has been released at the end of October. Charting the Course: Canada’s Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap sets a vision of becoming a world leader in marine energy,with a generating capacity, installed by Canadian industry, of 75 MW by 2016, 250 MW by 2020 and 2,000 MW by 2030, with an annual economic value of $2 billion. Regarding the skills demands of the industry, the report states that the marine renewable energy sector is applying general electrical engineering, ocean engineering, and marine operations expertise from other sectors. “As the sector grows, it is unclear whether future needs can be met through the training and expertise developed in other sectors alone. Building a marine renewable energy-specific knowledge base that addresses the specialized needs of the sector can focus efforts to establish a Canadian advantage”. Specifically, the document calls for action to set up trades and technology programs in all aspects of marine renewable energy at community colleges between 2011 and 2016, while developing university programs in the same time frame. The goal is that by 2020-2030, 70% of skilled workers in the industry will come from Canadian community college and university programs.

In a report released to the public on September 21, Robert Fournier of Dalhousie University provided the government of Nova Scotia with a compilation of the views from public consultations on offshore wind and tidal energy in the province, and has made 27 recommendations for the future of marine renewable energy policy and legislation. In discussing the advantages of Nova Scotia for marine energy production, Fournier points out that in addition to the obvious natural advantage of the strong tides of the Bay of Fundy, “The Halifax-Dartmouth area is widely acknowledged to be among the top 5-6 global centers of marine-related research. These human skills are an important resource contributing to all facets of a fledging marine renewable energy initiative”. The government has already accepted Dr. Fournier’s recommendations and is in the process of developing a Marine Renewable Energy Strategy and new legislation. This swift action is in line with Nova Scotia’s Renewable Electricity Plan and regulations, which lay out a legal requirement to achieve 25% renewable electricity supply by 2015, using only environmentally-friendly sources such as hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and tidal.


Charting the Course: Canada’s Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap is available at:

The Fournier Report, Marine Renewable Energy Legislation: A Consultative Process. Report to the Government of Nova Scotia is available in English at:

In French at:


For a library of international documents concerning marine energy, please visit the Ocean Renewable Energy Group library at:

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