Canadian regulator predicts 2019 peak fossil fuels

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Canadian energy regulators predict Canadians will likely use less fossil fuels in the future, with the baseline case suggesting Canadian fossil fuel use will peak around 2019.

Canada's National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator whose mandate is to promote safety and security, environmental protection and economic efficiency in the Canadian public interest, in the regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade. The Board prepares periodic long-term energy outlooks, which it describes as "the only publically available, long-term energy supply and demand outlook covering all energy commodities and all provinces and territories."

On October 26, 2017, the National Energy Board released its latest such report, titled "Canada's Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040." The 2017 report uses economic and energy models to explore "how possible energy futures might unfold for Canadians over the long term."

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

The report also considers two alternative scenarios -- a Higher Carbon Price case, and a Technology Case considering increased carbon pricing plus the greater adoption of select emerging production and consumption energy technologies such as electric vehicles and solar power. Under these two alternative cases, consumption of fossil fuels would fall 8 and 13% respectively, by 2040.

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