Despite the continuing upheaval in the oil sector, energy markets as a whole — wind, solar, hydro and natural gas — are forecast to grow according to a new report from The National Energy Board (NEB).
“Canada’s Energy Future 2016: Province and Territory Outlooks” highlights the diversity of energy sources across the country. It’s the first time the NEB has published detailed information comparing and constrating long term energy outlooks across the provinces and the territories.
“Canada’s energy production and consumption picture is as vast and diverse as the country itself. Recognizing this diversity will be critical as we deal with current energy market uncertainties and begin to implement the policies and technologies that will transform Canada to a low-carbon future. The projections in this report serve as an important baseline for those discussions,” says Shelley Milutinovic, chief economist, National Energy Board.
Atlantic Canada: hydro and wind power gaining importance
With the expected completion of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric facility in the coming years, more than 98 per cent of power generation in Newfoundland and Labrador will come from hydroelectricity. Exports to neighboring provinces and the U.S. are also expected to rise. Offshore oil production is expected to rise in the medium term, though declines are anticipated between 2025-2030. Future discoveries and developments are a key uncertainty to energy supply and demand going forward.
In Nova Scotia, renewable energy is expected to rise with new wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation, as well as additional supply coming from Muskrat Falls. Offshore natural gas production is expected to decline in lock-step with declines from Deep Panuke, though future discoveries and developments remain a key uncertainty to energy supply and demand.
New Brunswick is predicted to maintain a diverse electricity supply mix, with new wind and solar coming on-stream. Medium term growth in construction and manufacturing will cause an increase in electricity demand until about 2025 and then decline.
Wind generation is expected to increase in Prince Edward Island to account for about 36 per cent of the province’s demand by 2040. Electricity demand is also predicted to increase due to growth in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
Quebec: 6,000 mw of wind, hydro capacity by 2040
By 2040, Quebec is projected to add more than 6,000 megawatts of new wind and hydro capacity. The province’s electricity exports are expected to remain strong, helped by a recent Memorandum of Understanding with Ontario to exchange electricity capacity.
Quebec’s end use demand for energy is expected to grow only slightly, due to declines in the transportation and residential sectors, offsetting small gains in the commercial and industrial sectors. Demand remains below the 2007 peak through the projection period after Quebec’s manufacturing sector faced significant contraction during the 2008 recession.
Relatively flat energy use growth is influenced by Quebec’s participation in a GHG cap-and-trade system with California and related climate policies already in place.
Ontario: wind, solar and natural gas will lead the way
Recent retirements of coal-fired power plants and planned nuclear refurbishments will provide a major boost to Ontario’s renewable and natural-gas fired electricity generation.
By 2040, Ontario is expected to add more than 11 gigawatts of new capacity, primarily through wind, solar and natural gas generation. By that time frame, 28 per cent of the total provincial supply will come from renewable sources of wind, solar and biomass.
Ontario’s electricity demand is expected to grow modestly in the same time period, but not reaching peak levels seen in 2008, although future expansion of the province’s industrial sector is a key uncertainty for electrical demand.
Total end-use demand for all energy sources is expected to increase modestly, as declines in the transportation sector are outweighed by gains in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors.
Alberta: oil will remain king, pricing issues will continue
The study shows that Alberta’s crude oil production is expected to continue increasing into the future, lead by oilsands growth. The speed of that growth will be determined by future prices and infrastructure development.
Natural gas production in Alberta is expected to decline between now and 2040, unless prices increase and/or liquefied natural gas exports begin, creating new markets. Alberta’s end-use demand for natural gas varies substantially based on the province’s economic growth and energy production profile.
British Columbia: natural gas will lead energy growth
The study shows that British Columbia leads the country in projected natural gas production growth. However, the market price for natural gas and the issue of LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports are both key uncertainties in the B.C. energy marketplace going forward.
Both the economy and energy use in B.C. are expected to grow faster than the Canadian average between now and 2040. The province is projected to add nearly 5,000 megawatts of electric capacity between now and 2040, primarily from hydro with some wind, biomass and natural gas additions.