Fact Sheet: Results from the Global Net-Zero Scenario

The Global Net-Zero (GNZ) Scenario assumes Canada achieves net-zero emissions by 2050. It also assumes the rest of the world reduces emissions enough to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius.

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Net-Zero by 2050

By 2050, electricity will make up 41% of total end-use energy use, up from 17% in 2021, while fossil fuel use will drop by 65% from 2021 to 2050. Total energy use will fall by 22% from 2021 to 2050.

  • The amount of electricity generated and consumed in Canada in 2050 more than doubles from current levels.
  • Electricity demand will grow 120% from 2021 to 2050, with the annual rate of demand growth almost triple that from 1995 to 2019.
  • Electricity generation from wind grows rapidly and reaches nine times higher than current levels by 2050.
  • Generation from hydroelectricity, currently the largest source of generation in Canada, will increase by 26% from 2021 to 2050.
  • Natural gas-fired generation with carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) will become a key power source, making up 13% of generation by 2050 in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  • Electricity generation from Small Module Reactors will make up 12% of total electricity generation by 2050.
  • Crude oil production falls to 1.2 million barrels per day (MMb/d) by 2050, 76% lower than in 2022.
  • Natural gas production falls by 68%, reaching 5.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by 2050.
  • LNG exports begin in 2025, reaching 2.0 Bcf/d by 2029, and then dropping to 0.3 Bcf/d by 2046 in response to falling LNG demand globally. While the economics of Canadian LNG were examined, these are assumptions, not results from the modelling.
  • Oil sands production falls to 1.59 MMb/d in 2040 and 0.58 MMb/d in 2050, or 83% lower than in 2022.
  • GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector will fall from 189 megatonnes (MT) in 2021 to 17 MT in 2050, a 90% decrease.
  • Hydrogen use will reach over 8.5 MT by 2050, or 12% of total energy use, with 5 MT of additional hydrogen exports. Combined, Canada will produce nearly 14 MT of hydrogen by 2050. Bioenergy accounts for 13% of Canadian energy use by 2050.
  • By 2050, -36 MT net-negative emissions are from the electricity sector, -21 MT from hydrogen production using biomass with CCUS, and -46 MT from direct air capture technology.
  • Electric vehicle sales will grow to 100% of all vehicle sales by 2035, and account for nearly all passenger vehicles on the road by 2050.

Important things for you to know:

  • The results in EF2023 are not predictions about the future nor are they policy recommendations. Rather, they are the product of scenarios based on a specific premise and set of assumptions.
  • Net economy-wide GHG emissions will fall to zero by 2050 in the GNZ Scenario, which is a pre-determined outcome due to the nature of the analysis.
  • The CER produces timely, fact-based and relevant energy analysis to inform the energy conversation in Canada.
  • This long-term Canadian energy supply and demand outlook covers all energy commodities and Canadian provinces and territories and makes projections to 2050 using economic and energy models.
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