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The definition of terms in this glossary refers to their use in the context of the report on Canada's Energy Future.

Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance A federal government allowance which provides an accelerated rate of write-off for certain capital expenditures on equipment designed to produce energy in a more efficient way, or from alternative renewable sources.
Alternative or Emerging Technologies New and emerging environmentally-friendly technologies used as an alternative to existing resource-intensive methods to produce energy. Alternative technologies make limited use of resources, and include fuel cells and clean coal technologies, for example.
Anthracite coal A hard coal with the highest rank, which has the highest carbon count, and can have significant ash content. Anthracitic coals burn with little flame and smoke and produces a high amount of heat.
Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) For purposes of Canada's Energy Future, the growth rate refers to the growth rate from 2004 to 2030, with 2004 the base year, for scenarios. For the Reference Case, the growth rate refers to 2004 to 2015, with 2004 the base year.
Barrel One barrel is approximately equal to 0.159 cubic metres or 158.99 litres or approximately 35 imperial gallons.
Biodiesel A diesel fuel substitute produced from vegetable oils and animal fats.
Biofuel See biomass.
Biomass Organic material, such as wood, crop waste, municipal solid waste, hog fuel and pulping liquor, processed for energy production.
Bitumen or crude bitumen A highly viscous mixture, mainly hydrocarbons heavier than pentanes. In its natural state, it is not usually recoverable at a commercial rate through a well because it is too thick to flow.
Bituminous coal A relatively hard form of coal, with a higher rank which burns readily with a smoky flame.
Capacity (Electricity) The maximum amount of power that a device can generate, use or transfer, usually expressed in megawatts.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) A process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2), such that it is not released into the atmosphere, hence reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Carbon dioxide is compressed into a transportable form, moved by pipeline or tanker, and stored in some medium, such as geological formations.
Cellulosic ethanol Also known as cellanol, cellulosic ethanol is produced from lignocellulose, and composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. It is found in a variety of biomass sources.
Clean coal technologies Clean coal technologies refer to methods in which emissions resulting from coal-fired generation may be reduced. Development of clean coal technologies is currently focused on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Clean coal technologies may generally be characterized as improved efficiency in combustion, stack gas cleanup and capture and sequestration of CO2.
CO2 flooding CO2 flooding is a process of improved oil recovery, wherein carbon dioxide (CO2), in a liquid form, is deposited into oil-bearing formations in an effort to increase the amount of oil that can be extracted.
Coalbed methane (CBM) A form of natural gas extracted from coalbeds. Coalbed methane (CBM) is distinct from typical sandstone or other conventional gas reservoir, as the methane is stored within the coal by a process called adsorption.
Cogeneration A generating facility that produces electricity and another form of useful thermal energy, such as heat or steam as a by-product of generation.
Combined-cycle generation The production of electricity using combustion turbine and steam turbine generation units simultaneously.
Condensate A mixture comprised mainly of pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons recovered as a liquid from field separators, scrubbers or other gathering facilities or at the inlet of a natural gas processing plant before the gas is processed.
Conservation For purposes of Canada's Energy Future, conservation refers to minimizing energy use.
Conventional crude oil Crude oil, which at a particular point in time, can be technically and economically produced through a well using normal production practices and without altering the natural viscous state of the oil.
Conventional natural gas Conventional natural gas is gas contained in higher porosity geological formations that is produced by expansion of the gas molecules into the well bore.
Crude Oil A mixture, consisting mainly of pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons that exists in the liquid phase in reservoirs and remains liquid at atmospheric pressure and temperature. Crude oil may contain small amounts of sulphur and other non- hydrocarbons, but does not include liquids obtained from the processing of natural gas.
Cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) A repeateable, thermal in-situ recovery technique involving steam injection followed by oil production from wells injected with steam. Steam injection increases oil mobility and allows heated bitumen to flow into a well.
Demand-side management (DSM) Actions undertaken by a utility that result in a change and/or sustained reduction in demand for electricity. This can eliminate or delay new capital investment for production or supply infrastructure and improve overall system efficiency.
Diluent Any lighter hydrocarbon, usually pentanes plus, added to heavy crude oil or bitumen in order to facilitate its transport in crude oil pipelines.
Edmonton Par (price) The price of Edmonton Par, a light crude oil, which serves as the benchmark for crude oil produced in the region.
End-use demand Energy used by consumers in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors.
Energy efficiency Technologies and measures that reduce the amount of energy and/or fuel required for the same work.
Energy intensity The amount of energy used per unit of real GDP.
Improved oil recovery (IOR) The extraction of additional crude oil from reservoirs through a production process other than natural depletion. Includes both secondary and tertiary recovery processes such as pressure maintenance, cycling, waterflooding, thermal methods, chemical flooding, and the use of miscible and immiscible displacement fluids. (Also referred to as enhanced oil recovery [EOR]).
Ethane The simplest straight-chain hydrocarbon structure with two carbon atoms.
Ethylene A chemical building block made up of two carbon atoms and four hydrogen atoms used to manufacture plastics, solvents, pharmaceuticals, detergents and additives.
Extraction A process unique to the oil sands industry, in which bitumen is separated from the oil sands.
Feedstock Natural gas or other hydrocarbons used as an essential component of a process for the production of a product.
Fossil fuel Hydrocarbon-based fuel sources such as coal, natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil.
Frontier areas Generally, the northern and offshore areas of Canada.
Fuel cell Batteries which convert fuel directly into electricity. Most fuel cells take in hydrogen and oxygen, and produce electricity, heat and water.
Fuel economy The average amount of fuel consumed by a vehicle to travel a certain distance, measured in litres per 100 kilometres.
Fuel-switching The ability to substitute one fuel for another, generally based on price and availability.
Generation (electricity) The process of producing electric energy by transforming other forms of energy. Also, the amount of energy produced.
Geothermal energy The use of geothermal heat to generate electricity. Also used within energy demand to describe ground-source heating and cooling (also known as geoexchange or ground-source heat pump).
Greenhouse effect An atmospheric phenomenon through which incoming solar short-wave radiation passes through the atmosphere relatively unimpeded, but long-wave radiation emitted from the warm surface of earth is partially absorbed, adding net energy to the lower atmosphere and underlying surface, thereby increasing their temperatures.
Greenhouse gases (GHG) Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxide, which actively contribute to the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases also include gases generated through industrial processes such as hydroflurocarbons, perflurocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.
Gross domestic product (GDP) GDP is a measure of economic activity within a country. It is the market value of all goods and services in a year within Canada's borders.
Gross output The value of net output or gross domestic product plus consumption.
Heating oil Also known as No. 2 fuel oil. A distillate fuel oil commonly used for household space heating.
Heavy crude oil Generally, a crude oil that has a density greater than 900 kg/m³.
Heavy fuel oil No. 6 fuel oil (residual fuel oil)
Henry Hub (price) Henry Hub is the pricing point for natural gas futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). The hub is a point on the natural gas pipeline owned by Sabine Pipe Line and located in Louisiana.
Heritage assets An amount of energy and capacity determined by the existing generation assets that resulted from past decisions under a previous market regime. This energy is generally sold into the marketplace at a price reflecting historical costs.
Hub A geographic location where large numbers of buyers and sellers trade a commodity and where physical receipts and deliveries occur.
Hydroelectric generation A form of energy wherein electricity is produced from hydropower.
Hydraulic fracture A technique in which fluids are injected underground to create or expand existing fractures in the rock, allowing oil or gas to flow out of the formation, or to flow at a faster rate.
Income effect The change in demand that is related to the change in a consumer's income.
In-situ recovery The process of recovering crude bitumen from oil sands other than by surface mining.
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Coal (or biomass fuel), water and oxygen, are fed to a gasifier, which produces syngas. This gas is cleaned and is fed to a gas turbine. The hot exhaust of the gas turbine and heat recovered from the gasification process are routed through a heat-recovery generator to produce steam, which drives a steam turbine to produce electricity.
Interchange (interprovincial) Electricity transfers between provinces.
Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism The Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism is a mechanism within the Kyoto Protocol to assist countries in meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets. It enables industrialized countries with emission reduction targets to invest in emission reduction projects in developing countries and earn credits. These credits can be used against domestic emission reduction targets and/or sold. Developing countries gain access to low-emission technologies providing an incentive to participate in the Protocol, by supporting such countries in sustainable development.
Gas well A well bore with one or more geological horizons capable of producing natural gas.
Large final emitter Large final emitters refer to heavy industries, including the oil and gas, electricity generation, mining and energy-intensive manufacturing industries, which produce close to half of Canada's GHG emissions.
Light crude oil Generally, crude oil having a density less than 900 kg/m³. Also a collective term used to refer to conventional light crude oil, upgraded heavy crude oil and pentanes plus.
Light fuel oil No. 2 fuel oil (furnace fuel oil).
Lignite A low rank of soft coal with a high moisture content which burns with a smoky flame. It is used primarily for steam-electric power generation.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) Liquefied natural gas is natural gas in its liquid form. Natural gas is liquefied by cooling, and the process reduces the volume of gas by more than 600 times, allowing for efficient transport via LNG tanker.
Marketable natural gas Natural gas that has been processed to remove impurities and natural gas liquids. It is ready for market use.
Metallurgical coal Coal used in the steelmaking industry.
Mine mouth A method of integrated mining and power generation, wherein coal is transported directly out of the ground directly into a power plant
Mixed-use neighbourhood In reference to 'smart growth', a mixed-use neighbourhood is designed to include various types of buildings including residential, commercial, industrial and other land uses.
Naphtha A category of liquids from the middle distillate cut of crude oil. It includes end products such as benzene, toluene and xylene.
Natural gas liquids (NGL) Those hydrocarbon components recovered from natural gas as liquids. These liquids include, but are not limited to, ethane, propane, butanes and pentanes plus.
Net metering A system wherein electricity consumers may receive credit for a portion of electricity they generate via a renewable energy generator. Excess electricity will result in moving an electricity meter backwards, such that excess energy is banked by the consumer.
New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) The largest physical commodity futures exchange traded on the New York Mercantil Exchange for delivery of natural gas at the Henry Hub in Louisiana.
Oil sands Sand and other rock material that contains bitumen. Each particle of oil sand is coated with a layer of water and a thin film of bitumen.
Particulate matter (PM) Atmospheric particles composed of both natural materials, such as pollen and dust, and manmade pollutants, such as smoke particles and metallic ash. Particulate matter can cause respiratory irritation in significant concentrations.
Peak demand The maximum load consumed or produced in a stated period of time.
Pentanes Plus A mixture mainly of pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons obtained from the processing of raw gas, condensate or crude oil.
Personal disposable income The amount of income available to a household or person after the deduction of federal and provincial income taxes.
Photovoltaic (solar PV) Solar power employing solar cells or solar photovoltaic arrays to convert sunlight into electricity.
Primary energy demand The total requirement for all uses of energy, including energy used by the final consumer, intermediate uses of energy in transforming one energy form to another, and energy used by suppliers in providing energy to the market.
Real price Price levels that are held constant, eliminating the effect of inflation.
Reliability The degree of performance of any element of an electricity system, which results in electricity being delivered to customers within acceptable standards and in the amount desired. Reliability can be measured by frequency, duration or magnitude of adverse effects on electricity supply.
Reserves – Established The sum of proven reserves and half probable reserves.
Reserves – Initial established Established reserves prior to deduction of any production.
Reserves – Proven Reserves Recoverable under current technology and present and anticipated economic conditions, specifically demonstrated by drilling, testing or production.
Reserves – Remaining Initial reserves less cumulative production at a given time.
Reserves – Recoverable That portion of the ultimate resources potential recoverable under expected economic and technical conditions.
Reserve to Production Ratio Reserve to Production ratio is defined as the remaining reserves at the end of any year divided by the production in that year. The result is the length of time that those remaining reserves would last if production were to continue at that rate. 
Residual fuel oil The remaining refinery product after the removal of more valuable fuels such as gasoline and middle distillates. It is used primarily for power generation and fuel for various industrial processes.
Secondary energy demand See End-use demand.
Security of supply The availability of sufficient energy resources at reasonable prices.
Shale gas A continuous, low-grade accumulation of natural gas contained in rocks such as shales or silty shales.
Solar energy Includes active and passive solar heat collection systems and photovoltaics.
Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage is a steam stimulation technique using pairs of horizontal wells in which the bitumen drains, by gravity, into the producing wellbore, after it has been heated by the steam. In contrast to cyclic steam stimulation, steam injection and oil production are continuous and simultaneous.
Straddle plant A reprocessing plant located on a gas pipeline. It extracts natural gas liquids from previously processed gas before the gas leaves or is consumed within the province.
Sulphur oxides A natural occurring element found in most crude oils and some natural gas.
Supply cost Expresses all costs associated with resource exploitation as an average cost per unit of production over the project life. It includes capital costs associated with exploration, development, production, operating costs, taxes, royalties and producer rate of return.
Synthetic crude oil Synthetic crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons generally similar to light sweet crude oil, derived by upgrading crude bitumen or heavy crude oil.
Terrestrial Sequestration Refers to the removal of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere or the prevention of CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere from terrestrial sources. This can include forest and agricultural management practices, such as planting trees, preventing deforestation, or changing agricultural tilling practices
Thermal generation Energy conversion in which fuel is consumed to generate heat energy which is converted to mechanical energy and then to electricity.
Time-of-use rate Rates that are based on the time of day when the electricity is actually used. These rates allow consumers to pay less for the electricity used during off-peak or low-demand periods. Electricity used during on-peak hours is more costly.
Toe-to-heel air injection (THAI) A version of in-situ combustion that uses specifically-placed vertical air injection wells and horizontal producing wells to promote a controllable combustion front in an oil reservoir.
Unconventional crude oil Crude oil that is not classified as conventional crude oil (e.g., bitumen).
Unconventional natural gas Natural gas which is not classified as conventional natural gas. It includes coalbed methane, tight gas, shale gas and gas hydrates.
Unconventional resources Unconventional resources exist in petroleum accumulations that are pervasive throughout a large area and that are not significantly affected by hydrodynamic influences. They may also be associated with abnormal trap types, reservoir quality, chemical and physical form of the hydrocarbon in its native state, extraction methods (mines versus wells), or the amount of processing that must be applied to the raw production to yield a marketable commodity.
Upgraded bitumen The process of converting bitumen or heavy crude oil into a higher quality crude oil either by the removal of carbon (coking) or the addition of hydrogen (hydroprocessing).
Upstream Those activities related to the development, production, extraction and recovery of natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil.
Vapourized Extraction (VAPEX) Vapourized Extraction is a process similar to SAGD but uses a vaporized hydrocarbon solvent, rather than steam, to reduce the viscosity of crude oil in the reservoir.
Waterflooding A recovery method wherein water is injected into a reservoir to displace residual oil to adjacent production wells.
Wave / Tidal power Also known as tidal energy, tidal or wave power makes use of the rise and fall in sea levels, or tidal flow, to create hydropower.
WCS at Hardisty (price) Western Canadian Select (WCS) is an oil composed of Canadian heavy conventional and bitumen crude oils, blended with sweet synthetic and condensate diluents. The WCS price at Hardisty represents the price benchmark for Canadian crude oil, along with Edmonton Par.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) WTI is a light sweet crude oil, produced in the United States, which is the benchmark grade of crude oil for North American price quotations.

Conversion Tables

Imperial and Metric Conversions

Unit Equivalent
m metre 3.28 feet
cubic metres 6.3 barrels (oil); 35.3 cubic feet (gas)
t metric tonne 2200 pounds

Energy Content Equivalents

Energy Measure Energy Content
GJ gigajoule 0.95 million btu
PJ petajoule 1 000 000 GJ
MW megawatt  
GW.h gigawatt hour 3600 GJ
TW.h terawatt hour 3.6 PJ or 1 000 GWh
Natural Gas
Mcf thousand cubic feet 1.05 GJ
Bcf billion cubic feet 1.05 PJ
Tcf trillion cubic feet 1.05 EJ
Natural Gas Liquids
ethane 18.36 GJ
propane 25.53 GJ
butane 28.62 GJ
Crude Oil
Light 38.51 GJ
Heavy 40.90 GJ
Pentanes plus 35.17 GJ
t Anthracite 27.70 GJ
t Bituminous 27.6 GJ
t Subbituminous 18.80 GJ
t Lignite 14.40 GJ
Petroleum Products
Aviation Gasoline 33.52 GJ
Motor Gasoline 34.66 GJ
Petrochemical Feedstock 35.17 GJ
Naphtha Specialties 35.17 GJ
Aviation Turbo Fuel 35.93 GJ
Kerosene 37.68 GJ
Diesel 38.68 GJ
Light Fuel Oil 38.68 GJ
Lubricants 39.16 GJ
Heavy Fuel Oil 41.73 GJ
Still Gas 41.73 GJ
Asphalt 44.46 GJ
Petroleum Coke 42.38 GJ
Other Products 39.82 GJ

Guide to Appendices

The appendices are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format only:
Canada's Energy Future - Reference Case & Scenarios to 2030 - Energy Market Assessment - Appendices [PDF 1657 KB]

Appendix 1 Key Drivers

Table A1.1 Economic Indicators: Canada
Tables A1.2 to A1.12 Economic Indicators: Provinces

Appendix 2 Energy Demand

Table A2.1 Demand, Reference Case and Continuing Trends, Canada
Tables A2.2 to A2.14 Demand, Reference Case and Continuing Trends, Provinces
Table A2.15 Demand, Triple E, Canada
Tables A2.16 to A2.28 Demand, Triple E, Provinces
Table A2.29 Demand, Fortified Islands, Canada
Tables A2.30 to A2.42 Demand, Fortified Islands, Provinces

Appendix 3 Oil and Natural Gas Liquids

Table A3.1 Crude Oil and Bitumen Resources
Table A3.2 Refinery Feedstock Requirements and Sources, Canada
Tables A3.3 to A3.7 Refinery Feedstock Requirements and Sources, Provinces
Table A3.8 Supply and Disposition of Light Domestic Crude Oil and Equivalent, Canada
Table A3.9 Supply and Disposition of Heavy Domestic Crude Oil and Equivalent - Canada
Table A3.10 Ethane Supply, Demand and Potential Exports
Table A3.11 Propane Supply, Demand and Potential Exports
Table A3.12 Butane Supply, Demand and Potential Exports
Table A3.13 Oil, Reference Case and Continuing Trends, Production Outlook by Province
Table A3.14 Oil, Triple E, Production Outlook by Province
Table A3.15 Oil, Fortified Islands, Production Outlook by Province

Appendix 4 Natural Gas

Table A4.1 Natural Gas Supply
Table A4.2 Natural Gas, Reference Case and Continuing Trends, Production Outlook
Table A4.3 Natural Gas, Triple E, Production Outlook
Table A4.4 Natural Gas, Fortified Islands, Production Outlook

Appendix 5 Electricity

Table A5.1 Capacity by Plant Type, Reference Case and Continuing Trends
Table A5.2 Capacity by Plant Fuel, Reference Case and Continuing Trends
Table A5.3 Generation by Plant Type, Reference Case and Continuing Trends
Table A5.4 Generation by Fuel, Reference Case and Continuing Trends
Table A5.5 Interchange, Reference Case and Continuing Trends
Table A5.6 Capacity by Plant Type, Triple E
Table A5.7 Capacity by Plant Fuel, Triple E
Table A5.8 Generation by Plant Type, Triple E
Table A5.9 Generation by Fuel, Triple E
Table A5.10 Interchange, Triple E
Table A5.11 Capacity by Plant Type, Fortified Islands
Table A5.12 Capacity by Plant Fuel, Fortified Islands
Table A5.13 Generation by Plant Type, Fortified Islands
Table A5.14 Generation by Fuel, Fortified Islands
Table A5.15 Interchange, Fortified Islands

Appendix 6 Coal

Table A6.1 Canadian Coal Balances, Reference Case and Continuing Trends
Table A6.2 Canadian Coal Balances, Triple E
Table A6.3 Canadian Coal Balances, Fortified Islands

Appendix 7 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Table A7.1 GHG Emissions, Reference Case and Continuing Trends
Table A7.2 GHG Emissions, Triple E
Table A7.3 GHG Emissions, Fortified Islands


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