Chapter 1. Introduction

  • The National Energy Board’s Energy Futures series explores how possible energy futures might unfold for Canadians over the long term. This analysis is not a prediction of what will take place, nor does it aim to show how certain goals like Canada’s climate targets will be achieved. Rather, Energy Futures employs economic and energy models to make projections based on a certain set of assumptions given what we know today about technology, energy and climate policies, human behaviour and the structure of the economy.
  • This report, Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040 (EF2017), is the latest edition of this series.
  • EF2017 considers three cases:
    • The Reference Case is based on a current economic outlook, a moderate view of energy prices, and climate and energy policies announced at the time of analysis.
    • The Higher Carbon Price (HCP) Case considers the impact on the Canadian energy system of higher carbon pricing than in the Reference Case.
    • The Technology Case considers the impact on the Canadian energy system of greater adoption of select emerging energy production and consumption technologies.
  • In developing this report the NEB engaged various energy experts and stakeholders to gather input and feedback on the assumptions and preliminary projections. The NEB would like to thank all participants for their contributions to EF2017.
  • Over the projection period, it is likely that developments beyond the realm of normal expectations, such as geopolitical events or technological breakthroughs, will occur. Likewise, new information will become available and trends, policies, and technologies will evolve. In particular, EF 2017 makes several simplifying assumptions on future carbon pricing in Canada. The actual implementation of the pan-Canadian approach to carbon pricing could lead to different impacts on Canada’s energy system than shown here. This report should not be taken as an official or definitive impact analysis of this initiative. Readers of this analysis should consider the projections a baseline for discussing Canada’s energy future today, not a prediction of what will take place in the future.
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