Executive Summary

The National Energy Board’s (NEB) Energy Futures series explores how possible energy futures might unfold for Canadians over the long term. This analysis is not a prediction of what will take place, nor does it aim to achieve certain goals like Canada’s climate targets. Rather, Energy Futures employs economic and energy models to make projections based on a certain set of assumptions given past and recent trends related to technology, energy and climate policies, human behaviour, and the structure of the economy.

Canada’s Energy Future 2017 – Supply and Demand Projections to 2040 (Energy Futures 2017) considers three cases:

  • The Reference Case is based on a current economic outlook, a moderate view of energy prices, and climate and energy policies announced at the time of analysis.
  • The Higher Carbon Price Case considers the impact on the Canadian energy system of higher carbon pricing than in the Reference Case.
  • The Technology Case considers, in addition to higher carbon prices, the impact on the Canadian energy system of greater adoption of select emerging production and consumption energy technologies.

Key Findings

Key Finding 1 Description

This graph compares projected annual fossil fuel consumption by each Reference Case in EF2007, EF 2011 EF2013, EF2016, EF2016:Update and EF2017. These cases are also compared to columns displaying historical demand from 2005 to 2016. EF2007 slopes upward and projects a demand of 12967 PJ in 2030. EF2011 and EF2013 follow the same trend, projecting fossil fuels consumption of 12 935 PJ and 12 484 PJ in 2035. EF2016 and EF2016:Update also increase until their end points in 2040, finishing at 12 645 PJ and 11 350 PJ. EF2017 shows peak demand occurring in 2019 at 10 611 PJ then decreasing to 10 429 PJ in 2040.

Key Finding 2 Description

This graph compares fossil fuel use in the Reference Case, HCP Case and Technology Case. The Reference Case ends in 2040 with 10 429 PJ of demand. The HCP Case predicts an 8% lower fossil fuel demand compared to the Reference case with 9 599 PJ in 2040. Additionally the Technology Case sits 5% lower than the HCP Case with 9 089 PJ in 2040. All three cases forecast peak demand in 2019.

Key Finding 3 Description

This graph compares the growth of solar and wind capacity between the Reference and Technology cases. The two cases see similar uptake until 2022, after which the Technology Case begins to grow faster for both wind and solar. Solar in the Technology Case increases to 25.49 GW in 2040 and the Reference Case reaches 8.57 GW. Wind in the Technology Case increases to 30.79 GW in 2040 and the Reference Case reaches 26.60 GW.

Key Finding 4 Description

This chart compares the relative difference between the HCP and Technology cases to the Reference Case on a variety on measures through 2040. The energy price assumptions are Brent Crude Oil prices are predicted to be $80/barrel in the Reference Case, $75/barrel in the HCP Case and $65/barrel in the Technology Case in 2040. The Henry Hub Natural Gas price is expected to be $4.30/MMBtu for all cases. GDP is expected to be 0.2% lower in the HCP Case and 0.1% higher in the Technology Case compared to the Reference Case. Total energy use is expected to be 6% lower in the HCP Case and 9% lower in the Technology Case compared to the Reference Case. Fossil fuel use is expected to be 8% lower in the HCP Case and 13% lower in the Technology Case compared to the Reference Case. Crude oil production is expected to be 9% lower in the HCP Case and 11% lower in the Technology Case compared to the Reference Case. Natural gas production is expected to be 10% lower in the HCP Case and 13% lower in the Technology Case compared to the Reference Case. Total electricity generation is expected to be 1% lower in the HCP Case and 2% higher in the Technology Case compared to the Reference Case. Renewable electricity generation is expected to be unchanged in the HCP Case and 8% higher in the Technology Case compared to the Reference Case.

Key Finding 5 Description

This chart shows the energy use changes in fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables between 2015 and 2040 for each EF2017 scenario. In 2015 fossil fuel energy use was 9 818 PJ. By 2040, the Reference Case energy use is 10 429 PJ, the HCP Case energy use is 9 599 PJ, and the Technology Case energy use is 3 868 PJ. In 2015 renewable and nuclear energy use totaled 3 497 PJ. By 2040, the Reference case energy use is 3 740 PJ, the HCP Case energy use is 3 741 PJ, and in the 2040 Technology Case it is 3 868 PJ.

 

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