Group for Research in Decision Analysis


A Canadian 2050 Energy Outlook: Analysis with the Multi-Regional Model TIMES-Canada

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In terms of energy resources, Canada is an important player on the world scene. However, the energy systems of the Canadian provinces and territories are much diversified and a national energy strategy is missing in order to optimize the management of energy systems.

The objective of this paper is two-fold. First, we introduce TIMES-Canada, a new multi-regional energy model that has been developed using the most advanced TIMES optimization modeling framework, while keeping a very high level of details in the database (5,000 specific technologies; 400 commodities) compared with other Canadian energy models. Second, we define and analyze possible futures for the Canadian integrated energy system on a 2050 horizon, under five different baselines: a Reference scenario as well as four alternate scenarios corresponding to different oil prices (Low and High) and socio-economic growth trends (Slow and Fast).

In our Reference scenario, we show that the Canadian final energy consumption is expected to increase by 43% between 2007 and 2050. The Fast scenario leads to the maximum increase compared with the Reference scenario (21% in 2050). In all scenarios, oil products will continue to dominate on the long term, although in a decreasing proportion over time (from 43% in 2007 to 29% in 2050) in favour of electricity (31% of the additional demand in 2050) and biomass/biofuels. Regarding the corresponding optimal energy production paths, we illustrate two main trends: 1) a gradual replacement of onshore conventional oil & gas sources by unconventional and offshore sources (oil sands is expected to represent half of the production in 2050), and 2) a significant penetration of renewables in the electricity mix is shown after 2035 due to increases in oil import prices and decreases in renewable technology costs. The development and calibration of such a detailed technology-rich model represent an important contribution for Canada: TIMES-Canada is the only optimization model covering in details the large diversity of provincial energy systems on a long term horizon.

, 19 pages