Alberta’s total energy demand was largest in Canada, and largest on a per capita basis

The National Energy Board recently profiled insights into how our country produces, uses, and trades energy. Close to half of Canada’s total end-use energy demand comes from the industrial sector, according to a press release.

End-use, or secondary energy demand is energy that is used by final consumers. It excludes the energy used to generate electricity, which is included in primary energy, or energy used in the production of goods (that is, as a petrochemical feedstock).

The different types and sizes of industry in each province or territory are key factors for total end-use energy demand and energy intensity.

Energy intensity is the amount of energy required to produce one unit of economic output or activity. The energy used can be compared to GDP.

Energy use can also be compared to the size of the population to calculate energy use per capita.

End-use demand in Alberta was 3, 630 petajoules (PJ) in 2015. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 73 per cent of total demand, followed by transportation at 13 per cent, commercial at 8 per cent, and residential at 6 per cent.

Resource extraction such as oil, gas, and mineral mining uses a lot of energy. The effect of these industries is clear for Alberta and Saskatchewan, which rank first and second respectively for end-use energy intensity and use per capita.

Natural gas was the largest fuel type consumed in Alberta, accounting for 1, 896 PJ, or 52 per cent. RPPs and electricity accounted for 1, 346 PJ (37 per cent) and 280 PJ (8 per cent), respectively.

In these Saskatchewan and Alberta, end-use energy intensity is nearly double the national average, driven largely by industrial use of natural gas.

In central Canada, the manufacturing and service sectors produce more economic output per unit of energy than the resource extraction industry does.