Canadian Leadership in Energy
Canada’s Relationship with Energy
Canada is full of energy. Canada’s energy is complex and essential, fuelling and funding the country. Canada’s strength comes from the unique character of its energy production and consumption.
Energy is the fourth largest contributor to Canada’s GDP: $81.7 billion in May 2011 or 6.5 per cent of the total. As a net energy exporter, Canada depends on the rare and useful balance between our relatively small population and the wealth of our energy resources. But Canada’s geography and climate also shape our consumption. Because of the size of our population relative to Canada’s geographic size, almost 30 per cent of our energy is used for transportation. Likewise, Canada’s cold northern climate means that upwards of 40 per cent of all energy produced in the country is for heating.
Our relationship to energy is unique by virtue of Canada’s size, its climate, its energy endowment and its economy. Our energy is singularly Canadian. Future energy use will continue to be shaped by the way we produce and consume our energy, with an expanding population and a growing economy meaning that energy consumption will increase. This increase can be offset by energy efficiency initiatives featured in the energy strategies of governments across the country, but governments and citizens must do and are doing more. Any change to the way we use energy requires an understanding of Canada’s energy mix, a complex array of sources and uses that will continue to determine Canada’s global role.
Canadian Energy in a Global Context
Canada’s importance as an energy provider is immediately apparent when the country is compared to its global peers. The following table illustrates Canada’s current role as a world leader in energy production. By most measures, Canada consistently ranks among the top 10 energy producers in the world. Its production is always higher than its consumption.