Canada on track to reduce fossil fuel use by 62% by 2050 | The Canadian News

A new forecast says Canada is on track for a significant reduction in fossil fuel use by 2050, even as demand for electricity grows and demand for crude oil continues.

In a new report on long-term Canadian energy supply and demand, the Energy Regulator of Canada (CER) predicts that consistent use of fossil fuels (i.e. burning fossil fuels without carbon capture and sequestration) it will decrease by 62% by 2050.

“Our projections show that Canadians will use far less fossil fuels in the future,” CER chief economist Darren Christie said Thursday. “By 2050, coal will almost disappear and the use of petroleum-derived fossil fuels will decline, especially gasoline and diesel for transportation.”

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The forecast suggests that Canadians will use significantly less gasoline and diesel in the coming years, resulting in a 43 percent decrease in the use of refined petroleum products by 2050.

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Electricity use could increase by 45 percent as Canadians transition to electric vehicles, according to the CER. The report predicts that inexpensive wind and solar power will be used to meet increased demand.

Canadian crude oil production growth is expected to peak at 5.8 million barrels per day in 2032, CER says, and then slowly decline to reach 4.8 million barrels per day in 2050, just slightly below current levels.

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The report says it is due to the nature of Canada’s oil sands facilities, which are long-lasting and have low operating costs once built. Production projections suggest that the pipeline system outside of western Canada would still be near capacity until the mid-2030s.

That’s extremely concerning, said Dale Marshall, manager of Environmental Defense Canada’s national climate program.

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“In 30 years, if our oil production is at the same level it is today, we are in serious trouble,” Marshall said. “Because Canada is a high-cost, high-carbon oil producer, and if Canada has the same level of production that it has today, that means other sources of oil will be even more so. And we will be cooked. That is a climate catastrophe. “

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The forecast is based on the Canadian Energy Regulator’s assumption that the current rate of increase in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and around the world will continue.

The regulator also presented alternative scenarios, one that looked at energy demand in the event that additional climate action beyond current policies was lacking. This business scenario as always would see a peak of crude oil production at 6.7 million barrels per day in 2044.

Marshall said he was disappointed by how “pessimistic” the CER was in its forecast. Even its scenario, which assumes an acceleration of climate policy efforts in the coming years, makes clear that net zero is unlikely to be reached by 2050.

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“His plan doesn’t even show Canada achieving its Paris climate commitments,” Marshall said. “I think the projections are unrealistic and too pessimistic, in terms of what we might be seeing in terms of climate action in Canada and around the world.”

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However, Ben Brunnen, chief economist at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said he believes the CER exceeded the mark by forecasting a decline in Canadian oil production by 2050. He said CAPP believes that Canadian oil producers and gas have the ability to invest in technologies. This will allow them to comply with stricter policies around reducing emissions, while continuing to increase production to meet global demand.

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“Beyond 2035, there are so many variables that it creates quite substantial uncertainty. But our expectation is that we will not see a decline as significant as what CER is anticipating, ”Brunnen said. “In fact, I would expect the Canadian oil and gas industry to have a more favorable growth profile, compared to what CER indicates.”

Canada’s Energy Regulator also looked, for the first time, what Canada’s electrical system would look like in a net zero world. In these scenarios, emissions from the power sector drop dramatically, and battery storage plays a major role alongside the immense growth of wind and solar power.

The International Energy Agency said in October that global demand for fossil fuels could peak by 2025. However, the IEA also said oil demand is likely to remain at three-quarters of current levels by 2050, which would not allow countries to meet their international climate. objectives.

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