The National Energy Board’s (NEB) Energy Futures series explores how possible energy pathways might unfold for Canadians over the long term. The report employs economic and energy models to make projections based on a certain set of assumptions given what we know today about technology, energy and climate policies, human behaviour, and the structure of the economy. Readers of this analysis should consider the projections as a baseline to support ongoing discussions of Canada’s energy future. This analysis is not a prediction of what will take place, nor does it aim to show how specific goals, such as Canada’s climate targets, will be achieved.
Canada’s Energy Future 2018: Supply and Demand Projections to 2040 (EF2018) considers four different Cases:
- The Reference Case is based on a current economic outlook, a moderate view of energy prices and technological improvements, and climate and energy policies announced at the time of analysis.
- The High and Low Price Cases consider the impact of uncertain commodity prices on the Canadian energy system.
- The Technology Case pushes past the policy and technology boundaries specific to the Reference Case and includes greater global climate policy action and low carbon technology adoption. It provides one potential view of what a faster transition enabled by stronger long-term carbon policy, faster uptake of technologies such as electric vehicles, and lower cost of renewables would mean for Canada’s energy future.
Figure ES.1 Overview of Cases in Energy Futures 2018
This graph shows the break down between the Reference, High Price, Low Price, and Technology Cases in Energy Futures 2018. The Reference Case is the baseline scenario. The Low and High Price Cases advance on the Reference Case by accounting for oil and natural gas price uncertainty. The Technology Case advances on the reference case by incorporating the impacts of a global shift to a low carbon economy.
Key Findings (EF2018)
Key Finding 1 Description
This chart shows total Canadian energy use by fuel type, in the Reference Case. Coal use decreases from 713 PJ in 2017 to 166 PJ by 2040. Oil use decreases from 4770 PJ in 2017 to 4675 J in 2040. Natural Gas use increases from 4591 PJ in 2017 to 5709 PJ by 2040. Electricity use generated from hydro increases from 1380 PJ in 2017 to 1528 PJ by 2040. Electricity use generated from nuclear decreases from 1154 PJ in 2017 to 1087 PJ by 2040. Energy uses from other renewable sources increases from 894 PJ in 2017 to 1037 PJ by 2040. Total energy use increases from 13502 PJ in 2017 to 14201 PJ by 2040.
Key Finding 2 Description
This chart shows Canadian total energy demand by fuel type, in the Reference and Technology Cases. Coal demand was 1292 PJ in 2005 and 713 PJ in 2017. By 2040, coal demand falls to 166 PJ in the Reference Case, and 108 PJ in the Technology Case. Oil demand was 4766 PJ in 2005 and 4770 PJ in 2017. By 2040, oil demand falls to 4673 PJ in the Reference Case, and 3606 PJ in the Technology Case. Natural Gas demand was 3560 PJ in 2005 and 4593 PJ in 2017. By 2040, natural gas demand increases to 5683 PJ in the Reference Case, and falls to 3340 PJ in the Technology Case. Energy demand from renewable and non-emitting sources was 3176 PJ in 2005 and 3426 PJ in 2017. By 2040, energy demand from renewable and non-emitting increases to 3653 PJ in the Reference Case, and 4119 PJ in the Technology Case.
Key Finding 3 Description
This chart shows energy intensity trends in the Reference and Technology Cases as a percent of 2017 levels. Energy use per dollar of GDP declines from 100 in 2017 to 70.5 by 2040 in the Reference Case, and 55.5 in the Technology Case. Energy use per capita declines from 100 in 2017 to 87.3 by 2040 in the Reference Case and 68.8 in the Technology Case.
Key Finding 4 Description
This chart shows non-hydro renewable capacity in the Reference and Technology Cases. In the Reference Case, solar capacity increases from 2.8 GW in 2017 to 6.1 GW by 2040, wind capacity increases from 12.7 GW in 2017 to 24.3 GW by 2040, and Biomass capacity increases from 2.8 GW in 2017 to 3.3 GW by 2040. Total non-hydro renewable capacity increases from 18.3 GW in 2017 to 33.8 GW by 2040 in the Reference Case. Total non-hydro renewable capacity increases from 18.3 GW in 2017 to 50.1 GW by 2040 in the Technology Case.
Key Finding 5 Description
This chart shows crude oil and natural gas production by case, from 2017 to 2040. Crude oil production was 4.4 MMb/d in 2017. By 2040, this increases to 9.1 MMb/d in the High Price Case, 6.9 MMb/d in the Reference Case, 5.8 MMb/d in the Technology Case, and decreases to 3.8 MMb/d in the Low Price Case. Natural Gas production was 15.6 Bcf/d in 2017. By 2040, this increases to 26.9 Bcf/d in the High Price Case, and 20.9 Bcf/d in the Reference Case. Production decreases to 14.1 Bcf/d in the Technology Case, and 12.5 Bcf/d in the Low Price Case, by 2040.
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