• Category: SmartCity

Tidal Energy – Worldwide Momentum Building

Guest blog post by: Ron Scott, a Founder, former President, and current Director of Maritime Tidal Energy Corp (MTEC) in Halifax.

The tide is coming in. Tidal energy is becoming a reality. We are seeing the early stages of a viable tidal energy industry emerging.

Some underlying forces are at work. It is increasingly difficult and expensive to use fossil fuels to generate electricity. Electricity costs therefore continue to rise. There is no end in sight.

Coincidentally, the cost of generating electricity from the wind, sun, and ocean continues to fall. Their use, as a result, is growing rapidly. Their growth is further assured because they produce no greenhouse gases and their supply is inexhaustible.

Technology to generate electricity from tidal flows - one way to harness ocean energy - is new. The technology is similar to wind turbine technology. Wind turbines capture wind flows. Underwater tidal turbines capture the very predictable tidal flows.

The worldwide story of tidal energy development is all about the UK and Canada. They, above all other countries, are emerging as world leaders in exploring the potential for harnessing the energy from tidal currents. 

The UK has done, and is doing, extensive tidal research which has lead to plans to install 1 GW of tidal power capacity in the UK by 2020. In 2010, Scotland began by leasing undersea real estate to six large consortiums in exchange for the development of a 600 MW tidal capacity by 2020. Will this generate economic activity? Indeed. The capital cost alone is expected to be in the $2 billion range. Will it be competitive? Yes. The UK Marine Renewable Energy - State of the Industry Report (2009), estimates tidal energy could become competitive with current base costs of electricity by the time 2.8 GW have been installed.

Canada is following in Scotland’s footsteps.  Several proof-of-concept demonstrations have been undertaken here in Nova Scotia and in British Columbia, and several more are planned.

  Firstmap Secondmap

Bay of Fundy Presents Powerful Opportunity

Canada’s Ocean Renewable Energy Group, an industry organization, has said that Nova Scotia alone could reasonably expect to build a tidal energy capacity of 100 MW by 2020. The economic tidal energy capacity for the Bay of Fundy – with 100 billion tonnes of seawater flowing in and out everyday - has been estimated to be between 350 MW and 8 GW, with a central estimate in the 1 – 2 GW range (approximately 5 – 8% of the known worldwide tidal stream resource).

Research from US-based Electric Power Research Institute identifies the Bay of Fundy as perhaps the most potent site for tidal power generation in North America.  When fully developed, new in-stream tidal technology from only two locations in the Bay of Fundy has the potential to generate enough green, emission free energy to power close to 100,000 homes.

The Nova Scotia Government continues to prepare for this kind of development activity. In 2010 Nova Scotia authorized feed-in tariffs (incentives) for developmental tidal arrays that reflect the cost of the turbines and their deployment. Nova Scotia is currently developing strategies for regulating and commercializing marine renewable energy. Large investments in tidal energy support industries and services are sure to follow.

The pieces are falling in place. Denmark’s wind, and Germany’s solar successes are showing us the way.


Every day the equivalent of the outflow of every river in the world passes in and out of the Bay of Fundy.

RonScott Ron Scott is a Founder, former President, and current Director of Maritime Tidal Energy Corp (MTEC) in Halifax. MTEC is a team of consultants, engineers and scientists who have been active and constructive participants in the major tidal energy developments activities in Nova Scotia. MTEC has established itself as a consulting company, providing consulting services required by the renewable energy community, with particular emphasis on the needs of tidal energy stakeholders. For more information visit their website www.maritimetidal.com or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/7qQxeSPsMxI/tidal-energy-worldwide-momentum-building.html

  • Category: SmartCity

RBC Supports Diversity

Guest blog post by: Glen Dormody, Regional Vice President, Metro Halifax, RBC

Last fall, I spoke at a conference for the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers over at Mount Saint Vincent University.

They asked RBC to speak on the topic of diversity. It was a difficult topic to prepare for, simply for the fact that we have so many great things underway in our company right now in support of diversity.

But when I reflected on it, there were two things that stood out in my mind. First, having a focus on diversity is clearly the right thing to do. Second, it’s a smart thing to do from a business standpoint.

There are so many different ways to describe diversity. It can mean things like values and purpose, life experiences and perspectives. And certainly some people who have a diverse perspective in our community are new immigrants.

At RBC, we’ve been blessed with having some new immigrants as employees who have made a big contribution to our company.

One of these employees, Makafui Atloko, grew up in Ghana. He came to Canada for school.

After graduation, he went to a job fair at Pier 21 and I spoke with him about his experience joining RBC.

“I spoke to a few people at Pier 21 who told me about RBC and the opportunities they have for people with diverse backgrounds. When I first started, every employee I met was very forthcoming. They wanted to know about where I was from and what brought me here and they were all really welcoming. Initially I thought I was going to be out of place, especially with my accent and all that. But I wasn’t and I love it.”

Immigrationpicblog Mak has excelled at RBC. In fact he is one of our top employees, not just in Halifax, but across the world, and was recently recognized at an international employee convention as a top performer.

The rewards of hiring immigrants are many. It creates a high performing workplace with a variety of ideas, cultures and languages. Furthermore, it helps make our clients more comfortable when someone is serving them in their own culture and language.

In my view, immigrants are individuals who have already surmounted a great deal simply by leaving their country and coming to a new one. As such they show a great propensity to adapt to change. They also bring a different perspective and a willingness to learn, which are incredible assets.

One of the challenges for our business is to continue searching for and developing an available pool of immigrant talent to draw from. We also need to do a better job of making conscious decisions to hire people with diverse backgrounds.

And we don’t want to stop at the employee experience. We serve a lot of customers in Metro Halifax, and we are driving hard to ensure a fantastic experience for new immigrants when they come to our branches to open accounts. To that effect, we’re designating one person in each of our branches as a diversity/immigrant expert. In many instances, our experts will have been immigrants themselves. We want our experts to be able to truly understand the new immigrant experience in order to better introduce banking in Canada and find the right solutions for their needs.

Truly, when you reflect on Halifax’s economy, many of those who have created opportunity in this community are immigrants themselves. It’s up to us and other businesses to support and facilitate the entry of the next generation of newcomers to greater Halifax. They will only make our community stronger!

For more information on how you can hire an immigrant, click here.

RBC partners with Greater Halifax Partnership on an awareness campaign promoting the benefits of hiring a newcomer.

Glenblog Glen Dormody, RBC Regional Vice President

Glen Dormody is Regional Vice President, Metro Halifax at RBC. Glen understands Halifax's need for immigrants and he supports efforts to diversify our city.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/J0rFOXVIn3M/rbc-supports-diversity.html

  • Category: SmartCity

SmartCity Business Show: Episode 6 in Review

Swedish medical company, Elekta, has chosen Halifax to expand its operations. Stephen Otto, Chairman of Elekta Neuromag, explains that Halifax has the perfect mix of the clinical (IWK) and research pieces (Dalhousie and National Research Council) that are needed to foster the development of Elekta’s new brain image technology.



“We’ve got all the ingredients here in Halifax to make this kind of research co-operation and collaboration work.” Stephen Otto, Chairman of Elekta Neuromag




It didn’t seem this straight forward to me at the beginning. Sweden? Brain image technology? Magnetoencephalgraphy? I didn't think I'd be able to wrap my head around it all. My science comprehension is challenged by the concept of mitosis, so the word magnetoencephalgraphy had me a little scared. Luckily, the SmartCity Business Show exists to explain in everyday terms the innovative and fascinating, but sometimes difficult to grasp, work that many companies are doing in Halifax. It’s nice to understand what’s going on in my city.

Although the big words in this episode caught my attention, the word I was most drawn to was more. More jobs, more ideas, more funding, more researchers right here in Halifax. Mr. Otto makes it clear that Elekta’s technology can really help our growth. This is pretty exciting stuff that strengthens our international presence, as well as benefiting Halifax’s science, research and business communities. Check back for next week’s episode that highlights Halifax’s manufacturing sector (there may or may not be explosions involved).

Watch Now

Maegblogpic2 Maeghan Murphy, Marketing & Communications Co-op Student

Maeghan is with the Partnership on a four month work-term. She is in her third year of Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University and had her first taste of the working world on her work-term with Nova Scotia Power this summer. Although she'll always be a Cape Bretoner at heart, Maeghan is happy to now call Halifax her home.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/0H6sr_xxbLU/smartcity-business-show-episode-6-in-review-.html

  • Category: SmartCity

SmartCity Episode 6. Elekta

Video: SmartCity Episode 6. Elekta. In this weeks episode SmartCity visits the IWK where a Swedish company have set up a new research facility. Host Craig Layton chats to Stephen Otto who is the Chairman of Elekta Neoromag

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  • Category: SmartCity

Halifax, Meet Your Neighbours

Halifax’s population continues to rise. In 2010, Statistics Canada estimated that, for first time, the population has crossed 400,000 people. We represent 43% of the population of Nova Scotia and 17% of the population of Atlantic Canada and those numbers are steadily rising. This leads me, as an economist, to two key questions:

  • Where is this growth coming from?
  • What does this mean for the people of Halifax?

Where is the growth coming from?

The largest factor in the increase of Halifax’s population today is immigration. Net immigration (Immigrants – Emigrants) accounted for 79% of the population growth in Halifax in 2009/10 and this number continues to rise. We attract immigrants from various places; other locations in Nova Scotia (27%), other provinces in Canada (8.1%) and other countries around the world (43.8%).

The natural growth (births – deaths) is declining. It becomes clear, when looking at how our natural growth has declined over the last 5 years that we need to look externally for our population to grow.

We have a lot of work to do; Nova Scotia attracts less than 1% of the Canada’s international immigrants annually. As the natural increase stagnates, it has become more important than ever to reach out globally for population growth and to develop a Halifax that talented people from everywhere want to be a part of.


  Natural vs. Immigration   Halifax_population

What does this mean for the people of HRM?

If you are a regular news reader, you have heard about our aging population and the looming shortage of talented employees (known as the emerging talent gap). Recent reports from Statistics Canada show that in 2015-2021, Canada will have more seniors than children for the first time ever. 

As employees retire, there won’t be as many Halifax residents to replace them, especially in areas where specialized skills are required. As such, immigration is critical to the sustainability of our workforce, our attractiveness to new investors, as well as our tax base. If we can ensure that Halifax is filled with talented, motivated and innovative people from around the world, we will be able to ensure that Halifax thrives for everyone.

Next week, I will discuss the advantages of different types of immigration and why international immigration (our largest source) offers the greatest number of benefits to Halifax residents from a tax perspective. As well, I’ll touch on how a good immigration strategy is a great example of sustainable policy for a city like Halifax.

David Fleming

David is the Research Coordinator for the Greater Halifax Partnership. He studied Economics and Philosophy at the University of Prince Edward Island, and has experience working with private, public and non-profit organizations. He maintains the economic data section of the website and provides economic analysis on key issues relating to Halifax.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/fBpUMfXp74Q/halifax-meet-your-neighbours-.html

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