New long-term en­ergy out­look shows Cana­dian fos­sil fuel use peak­ing

The McLeod River Post - - The Patch -

The Na­tional En­ergy Board (NEB) to­day (Oct. 26) re­leased its up­dated long-term en­ergy out­look, which shows Cana­di­ans will likely use less fos­sil fuels in the fu­ture, thanks to cli­mate pol­icy and tech­nol­ogy. The re­port also ex­plores ad­di­tional sce­nar­ios for cli­mate pol­icy and new tech­nolo­gies to fur­ther im­pact Cana­dian en­ergy con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion trends.

Canada’s En­ergy Fu­ture 2017: En­ergy Sup­ply and De­mand Pro­jec­tions to 2040 ex­plores how pos­si­ble en­ergy fu­tures might un­fold for Cana­di­ans over the long term. The re­port uses eco­nomic and en­ergy models to make pro­jec­tions based on cer­tain sets of as­sump­tions given past and re­cent trends.

The re­port’s base­line out­look is the Ref­er­ence Case, which is based on a cur­rent eco­nomic out­look, a mod­er­ate view of en­ergy prices, and in­cludes cli­mate and en­ergy poli­cies sim­i­lar to those an­nounced at the time of anal­y­sis. This pro­jec­tion shows Cana­dian fos­sil fuel use peak­ing around 2019, and flat­ten­ing out in the long term.

The re­port also looks at two sce­nar­ios to ex­am­ine cli­mate pol­icy and tech­nol­ogy trends be­yond those in­cluded in the Ref­er­ence Case. The Higher Car­bon Price case con­sid­ers the im­pact of car­bon pric­ing that con­tin­ues to in­crease in the long term. The Tech­nol­ogy Case con­sid­ers in­creased car­bon pric­ing plus the greater adop­tion of se­lect emerg­ing pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion en­ergy tech­nolo­gies such as elec­tric ve­hi­cles and so­lar power.

All three cases in­cluded in Canada’s En­ergy Fu­ture 2017 show Canada re­duc­ing our fos­sil fuel con­sump­tion trends com­pared to pre­vi­ous out­looks. And de­spite these re­duc­tions, the out­look for eco­nomic growth and en­ergy pro­duc­tion is sim­i­lar to or higher than in re­cent En­ergy Fu­tures out­looks. The re­sults also sug­gest that more ac­tion will be needed to meet Canada’s cli­mate change com­mit­ments. This high­lights the im­por­tance of on­go­ing di­a­logue and dis­cus­sion of new ideas to con­tinue driv­ing Canada to­wards a low car­bon fu­ture, which is a key com­po­nent of the Gov­ern­ment of Canada’s re­cent Gen­er­a­tion En­ergy ini­tia­tive.

“En­ergy Fu­tures 2017 shows that real progress is be­ing made to­wards a low car­bon fu­ture. Cana­dian fos­sil fuel use peaks and then be­gins to de­cline, with the ex­tent of that de­cline de­pend­ing on fu­ture pol­icy and tech­nol­ogy as­sump­tions. Still, there is more work to be done and new ideas will be re­quired.”

– Shel­ley Mi­luti­novic, Chief Econ­o­mist, Na­tional En­ergy Board

As the only pub­li­cally avail­able, long-term en­ergy sup­ply and de­mand out­look cov­er­ing all en­ergy com­modi­ties and all prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries, the NEB’s Canada’s En­ergy Fu­ture se­ries pro­vides Cana­di­ans with a key ref­er­ence point for dis­cussing the coun­try’s en­ergy fu­ture.

In ad­di­tion to the re­port, Cana­di­ans can review this in­for­ma­tion with the NEB’s lead­ing edge data vi­su­al­iza­tions tool. With a few clicks, Cana­di­ans can ex­plore the type and quan­tity of en­ergy pro­duced and re­quired in ev­ery province and ter­ri­tory, and what that en­ergy mix is fore­cast to look like decades into the fu­ture. Users can now also com­pare how the en­ergy mix in each re­gion changes over time. With mil­lions of unique pos­si­bil­i­ties, each user can tell the story that most in­ter­ests them.

The Na­tional En­ergy Board is an in­de­pen­dent fed­eral reg­u­la­tor of sev­eral parts of Canada’s en­ergy in­dus­try. It reg­u­lates pipe­lines, en­ergy de­vel­op­ment and trade in the pub­lic in­ter­est with safety as its pri­mary con­cern. For more in­for­ma­tion on the NEB and its man­date, please visit

Quick Facts

The En­ergy Fu­tures 2017 Ref­er­ence Case is the first Ref­er­ence Case in the En­ergy Fu­tures se­ries where fos­sil fuel con­sump­tion peaks within the pro­jec­tion pe­riod.

Cana­dian fos­sil fuel con­sump­tion in the Higher Car­bon Price Case is eight per cent lower than in the Ref­er­ence Case, and 13 per cent lower in the Tech­nol­ogy Case by 2040.

Re­new­able ca­pac­ity grows quickly, with wind ca­pac­ity dou­bling and so­lar more than tripling by 2040 in the Ref­er­ence Case.

De­spite dif­fer­ent en­ergy out­comes, Cana­dian real gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) growth is sim­i­lar in all three sce­nar­ios in En­ergy Fu­tures 2017.

Fu­ture poli­cies and tech­nol­ogy trends, both do­mes­ti­cally and glob­ally, will shape Canada’s sus­tain­able en­ergy fu­ture.

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