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Inconvenient Facts

Contributed by Robert Lyman  ©  2020. Lyman’s bio can be read  here.

Every two years, Natural Resources Canada publishes the Energy Fact Book, a compilation of statistics about Canadian energy supply, demand, trade and related topics. I recently reviewed the Energy Fact Book 2018-2019, and was impressed by how many of the facts, honestly and accurately reported by the department, contradict the usual storylines of those who claim that environmental, and especially climate “emergency”, considerations should govern energy and environmental policy decision-making in Canada. I urge those who are interested to read through the report, which can be found here:

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/energy/pdf/energy-factbook-oct2-2018%20(1).pdf

I offer this selection of factual highlights from the book in contrast to the usual claims of climate alarm.

Energy and the Economy

Claim:

Energy is not a major contributor to Canada’s income, especially outside of Alberta.

Facts:

While the energy sector GDP in Alberta in 2017 was the highest in Canada at $79.6 billion, it was significant in all provinces, including notably Ontario ($15.9 billion), Quebec ($14.9 billion), Saskatchewan ($13.2 billion) and British Columbia ($12.9 billion).

Claim:

The energy industry does not contribute much to government revenues.

Facts:

The average annual government revenue from the energy industries over the period 2012-2016 was $17.8 billion. Of this, the oil and gas industry accounted for $15.8 billion, or 89%, with the upstream portion of the oil and gas industry providing $12.9 billion, or $72%.The energy sector’s share of total taxes paid by all industries was 8.4%.

Research and Development

Claim:

Fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) receive an undue share of federal and provincial government energy research and development expenditures.

Facts:

In the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Federal, provincial and territorial government spending on R&D related to fossil fuels totaled $173 million (compared to $983 million by industry). The same year, governments spent $312 million on renewable energy R&D (compared to $361 million by industry) and $177 million on energy end use (compared to $219 million by industry). In other words, government spending on oil and gas R&D was only 26% of government energy-related R&D.

“Clean Technology”

Claim:

The “clean technology” sector is a very important part of Canada’s economy.

Facts:

In 2016, the clean technology sector accounted for 1.3% of Canada’s GDP.

Claim:

Renewable energy is a source of increasing investment in Canada.

Facts:

Renewable energy investments declined from a peak of about $6.8 billion in 2014 to $2 billion in 2016, before partially recovering to $3.3 billion in 2017. Investments in solar PV declined from about $2.2 billion in 2014 to $300 million in 2017.

Emissions Reduction

Claim:

Average Canadians should pay more for energy to reduce demand and GHG emissions.

Facts:

In 2016, the average Canadian household spent $4.086 on energy, 6.6% of household consumption. Energy costs have risen faster than inflation since 2002.

Claim:

Canada has not done well in reducing GHG emissions per capita.

Facts:

From 2000 to 2016, Canada’s GHG emissions declined by 23% per dollar of GDP and by 18% per capita.

Claim:

GHG emissions from electricity generation are too high.

Facts:

Canada’s percentage of electricity generation from non-GHG emitting sources is 81%, among the highest in the world. Hydro made up 59%, nuclear 15%, and renewables 7%. Electricity sector emissions declined from about 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2000 to about 70 million tonnes in 2016.

Transportation Sector

Claim:

Electricity is a major part of the energy sources needed to fuel transportation.

Facts:

Electricity provides less than 0.5 % of the energy needed to fuel transportation in Canada.

Industry Sector

Claim:

Fossil fuels are not important for Canada’s industrial sector.

Facts:

In 2015, 73% of the energy used by Canadian industry was based on fossil fuels. Twenty per cent was from electricity and seven per cent “others”.

Commercial and Institutional Sector

Claim:

It is easy to reduce energy consumption in the commercial and institutional sectors

Facts:

Between 1990 and 2015, commercial and institutional energy use increased by 35%, even as energy intensity declined by 8%.

Residential Sector

Claim:

Space heating and water heating does not depend on fossil fuels.

Facts:

In 2015, natural gas provided 68% of the energy for water heating. Natural gas and heating oil provided 57% of the energy for space heating.

Oil sands

Claim:

The GHG emissions intensity of production from the oil sands is increasing.

Fact:

From 2000 to 2016, oil sands emissions per barrel decreased by 29%.

Claim:

The oil sands are a large part of global emissions.

Fact:

The oil sands account for 0.1% of global GHG emissions.

Claim:

Oil sands production takes up too much land.

Facts:

The total area being mined for oil sands is 901 square kilometers. That is 0.009% of Canada’s area.

Electricity Generation

Claim:

Fossil fuels are not important for electricity generation in Canada.

Facts:

Here are the shares of electricity generation provided by coal, natural gas and oil by province and territory in 2016:

Nunavut: 100%
Alberta: 88 %
Saskatchewan: 84%
Nova Scotia: 77%
NWT: 58%
N.B.: 38%
Ontario: 9%

Claim: Wind and solar energy are important sources of electricity generation

Facts:

In 2016, 57.5 % of renewable energy production was hydro, 23% biomass, 5.4% wind and only 0.5% solar.

5 Comments

  1. Amin Purshottam

    April 22, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Please correct Ontario at 8% in the second last claim

  2. Howard Dewhirst

    April 22, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Does the government read these reports?

  3. Thanks Robert, as usual for your amazing exposes. The Fact is that the public continues to be brainwashed by globalists and environmentalist fanatics with unlimited funding to do their ‘dirty’ work (no pun intended), and left-leaning politicians who have lost their morals and ethics, and perhaps ‘brains’. When the public now reads or hears “GHG emissions”, it is assumed as ‘Pollution” because that is what our current Minister of The Environment and ………….yes Climate Change and what else, has said so on numerous occasions! “This is ‘false’ and used with the purpose of deceiving someone”. That in turn is the Wikipedia definition of a ‘Lie’; but we’re not supposed to say that because it is not respectful! I’ll blame Wikipedia but this whole nonsense shows how far we have degenerated into an “authoritarian government characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.” All words found in the definition of ‘Fascism’. I know it well, I came from there. The ‘Free’ has been removed from out National Anthem re “….Strong and Free…..”

  4. Hardly! I tried to make my MPP read a short summary of a similar article on what our scientists (FOS etc) think of man-made global warming, (it fit on the screen of his computer) but he actually cringed and could not bring himself to even look at it, although he did give me all of half hour of his time!. As if it was COVID-19. It was an unbelievable experience but a factual answer to your excellent question.

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