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NEB report shows how possible energy futures might unfold for Canadians

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The National Energy Board (NEB) has released its updated long-term energy outlook, which shows how Canadians will likely use less fossil fuels in the future, thanks to climate policy and technology. The report also explores additional scenarios for climate policy and new technologies to further impact Canadian energy consumption and production trends.

’Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040’ explores how possible energy futures might unfold for Canadians over the long-term. The report uses economic and energy models to make projections based on certain sets of assumptions given past and recent trends.

The report’s baseline outlook is the Reference Case, which is based on a current economic outlook, a moderate view of energy prices, and includes climate and energy policies similar to those announced at the time of analysis. This projection shows Canadian fossil fuel use peaking around 2019, and flattening out in the long-term.

The report also looks at two scenarios to examine climate policy and technology trends beyond those included in the Reference Case. The Higher Carbon Price case considers the impact of carbon pricing that continues to increase in the long-term. The Technology Case considers increased carbon pricing plus the greater adoption of select emerging production and consumption energy technologies such as electric vehicles and solar power.

All three cases included in Canada’s Energy Future 2017 show Canada reducing our fossil fuel consumption trends compared to previous outlooks. And despite these reductions, the outlook for economic growth and energy production is similar to or higher than in recent Energy Futures outlooks. The results also suggest that more action will be needed to meet Canada’s climate change commitments. This highlights the importance of ongoing dialogue and discussion of new ideas to continue driving Canada towards a low carbon future, which is a key component of the Government of Canada’s recent Generation Energy initiative.

As the only publically available, long-term energy supply and demand outlook covering all energy commodities and all provinces and territories, the NEB’s Canada’s Energy Future series provides Canadians with a key reference point for discussing the country’s energy future.

In addition to the report, Canadians can review this information with the NEB’s leading edge data visualisations tool. With a few clicks, Canadians can explore the type and quantity of energy produced and required in every province and territory, and what that energy mix is forecast to look like decades into the future. Users can now also compare how the energy mix in each region changes over time. With millions of unique possibilities, each user can tell the story that most interests them.

Shelley Milutinovic, NEB’s Chief Economist, said: “Energy Futures 2017 shows that real progress is being made towards a low carbon future. Canadian fossil fuel use peaks and then begins to decline, with the extent of that decline depending on future policy and technology assumptions. Still, there is more work to be done and new ideas will be required.”

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