Letter from the Chair and CEO of the National Energy Board

I am pleased to present the latest edition of the National Energy Board’s Energy Futures series Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040 (Energy Futures 2017). This edition marks an impressive milestone – it has been 50 years since the NEB published its first long-term supply and demand outlook in 1967. Energy in Canada has undergone numerous changes over that past half century, including a near tripling of hydroelectric electricity generation, the development of the oil sands, and dramatic improvements in energy efficiency across the entire economy.

The next 50 years will again be defined by continuous change. Canada’s transition to a lower carbon future is underway, yet the path and duration of this transition is far from certain. Critically important to guiding this transformation will be an informed, fact-based and credible dialogue among all Canadians.

Energy Futures 2017 is one component of that dialogue, providing Canada’s only publically available long-term energy supply and demand outlook that covers all provinces and territories and all energy commodities. Importantly, this report provides a baseline for discussing how Canada’s energy future could unfold.

The evolution of climate policies and energy technologies will be an important part of Canada’s transition to a lower carbon economy. Energy Futures 2017 explores these factors by introducing two new cases in addition to the Reference Case, our baseline outlook. The Higher Carbon Price Case explores the impact of higher carbon pricing while the Technology Case considers greater adoption of select emerging energy technologies related to both production and consumption.

I found the differences between the three cases particularly insightful. They highlight the importance of both current and future climate policies and technologies in bending the curve of Canada’s fossil fuel use trajectory. In the Higher Carbon Price and Technology cases, fossil fuel consumption begins to decline in a meaningful way.

Energy Futures 2017 was not constructed with Canadian GHG emission targets as the ultimate goal and the results should not be interpreted as representing a ceiling on Canada’s potential for GHG emission reductions. Rather, the cases illustrate the impact climate policy and technology can have on Canada’s energy system.

I would like to thank the numerous technical experts at the NEB who prepare these projections, as well as the key partners with whom the Energy Futures team collaborates, particularly Statistics Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada. Their data and expertise are a key component of this work.

C. Peter Watson, P. Eng. FCAE
Chair and CEO

 

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