By November 24, 2017 Read More →

Canadian fossil fuel use peaks in 2019, but not in Alberta until 2037 – NEB study

Alberta fossil fuel use driven by 2.1MM b/d jump in crude oil output from 2016 to 2040, high economic growth

The National Energy Board recently released its Energy Future 2017 report (EF2017) that forecasts Canadian fossil-fuel demand could peak in 2019, then plateau until 2040. A follow up study shows that the trend looks quite different across the provinces, with energy giant Alberta remaining the largest consumer of fossil fuels.

The study shows three distinct trends across coal, oil products, and natural gas.

Canadian coal use has been declining for the last decade, driven by declining demand in power generation and the industrial sector.

Use of oil products peaked in 2007. Demand dropped off in 2008 and 2009, in part due to the impact of the economic recession. Demand growth has been limited by a variety of factors, such as renewable fuel blending requirements for gasoline and diesel, and improving vehicle efficiency.

Natural gas use projections differ in the three scenarios considered in EF2017. Natural gas use continues to increase over the projection period in the Reference Case, led by industrial and power generation. In the Higher Carbon Price and Technology scenarios, natural gas use eventually decreases, peaking in 2025 and 2024, respectively.

Fossil fuel use trends also differ across regions.

The figure below illustrates fossil fuel use for the three provinces with the highest fossil fuel demands in 2015, along with the rest of Canada combined.

Alberta’s fossil fuel use continues to increase for most of the Reference Case projection. The increase is due to various factors, such as a 2.1 million barrel per day increase in crude oil production from 2016 to 2040, and economic growth higher than the Canadian average. Alberta demand eventually flattens out in the longer term, reaching its maximum in 2037.

Fossil fuel use in Ontario and Quebec remains below their peaks prior to the 2008-2009 recession.

Reasons for this include improving efficiency across the economy, renewable fuel blending requirements for gasoline and diesel, reductions in industrial economic activity associated with the recession, and a significant share of electric vehicles over the long term.

The year in which EF2017 projects fossil fuel consumption will peak for other provinces and territories varies, but all provinces peak by 2025.

Posted in: Canada

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