Canada and China are natural partners in the energy sector; not only in relation to primary sources of energy, but also in relation to renewable energy , including solar, wind, geothermal, hydraulic and biomass, and technology development. The December 2009 Canada-China Joint Statement identified the energy sector as a focus for co-operation which presents significant opportunities to both countries. Canada has traditionally been an important, stable and reliable supplier of energy resources, technology and services to world markets. China as a large consumer of primary energy and an emerging leader in technology for traditional and clean energy, represents an ideal partner for long-term collaboration.
Canada’s strategy for economic success builds on our considerable strengths, in particular our world-leading energy resource endowment. Canada is the world’s seventh largest crude oil producer and has with the second largest proven reserves. We are the third largest natural gas producer, the third largest hydroelectric generator, the largest producer of uranium, and by far the largest supplier of energy resources to the United States.
Canada has the world’s second-largest proved reserves (after Saudi Arabia) at 176 billion barrels, 170 billion of which are in the oil sands. These oil sands reserves are recoverable using existing technology at current prices. Petroleum development is taking place not only in the oil sands, but in several areas of Canada including the north and in the Atlantic offshore region.
As technology improves to reduce costs and environmental impacts, it is expected that additional portions of Canada’s in-place oil sands reserves (1.7 to 2.5 trillion barrels) will become available.
Canada is also investing to ensure that we achieve our emission reduction objectives through technologiesy such as carbon capture and sequestration. Canada and the United States have already collaborated successfully and one such project, Weyburn-Midale, is the largest carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage project in the world. Since 2000. it has resulted in the sequestration of approximately 10 million tonnes of CO2.
Canada’s proved natural gas reserves are estimated at 58 trillion cubic feet. However, these proved reserves represent only a small portion of the natural gas which could eventually be produced in Canada. Canada’s remaining marketable natural gas resources are currently estimated at 439 trillion cubic feet.
In the Mackenzie Delta, there are plans to develop a new pipeline projects to access arctic natural gas resources.
Open, efficient and well-regulated markets with cooperative policies facilitate natural gas investments.
Expectations for the longer-term outlook for natural gas are changing. Shale gas resources could allow for North American natural gas production to increase substantially. Canadian interest in shale gas production is growing quickly, particularly in the Horn River and Montney Basins in northeast British Columbia.
Estimates of Canada’s in-place unconventional natural gas resources (including shale gas, tight gas and coal bed methane) range as high as several thousand trillion cubic feet.
Canada has the world’s largest known high-grade uranium deposits and is one of the world’s leading producers of uranium, accounting for roughly one-fifth of the total global mine production. The uranium mined in Canada contains more energy potential than does all of our annual oil and natural gas production combined.
Canada supplies approximately one-third of the uranium used in U.S. nuclear power plants, in the course of which providing over 5% of the total U.S. supply of electricity.
About 15% of Canada’s electricity is produced by nuclear power. Ontario’s three nuclear power plants, with 18 reactors, provide more than 50% of the province’s electricity. Quebec and New Brunswick each have one nuclear power plant.
Canada is committed to making its energy production and use cleaner by increasing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energy production and reducing environmental impacts from conventional sources. The Government of Canada has introduced a number of initiatives in this regard,has invested including $1.5 billion invested to increase Canada’s energy supplies from renewable sources such as solar, tidal, hydro, wind, biomass and geothermal power.
Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of clean, renewable hydroelectric power.
There is the potential to more than double hydroelectric capacity in Canada.
Hydro power accounts for 97% of Canada's renewable electricity generation and nearly 13% of the global production of hydropower.
Canada is a world leader in hydropower production, with an installed capacity of over 70,858 megawatts (MW), and an annual average production of 350 terawatt-hour (TWh).
Canada’s total wind energy capacity is now more than 3,300 MW – a ten-fold increase in six years. Canada now produces the equivalent to power 1,000,000 homes.
The 3,000 MW level was met and exceeded in 2009 and Canada now has enough installed wind energy capacity to meet over 1% of Canada’s electricity needs.
There are 25,000 MW of wind projects in various stages of development.
Solar energy production is growing in Canada. Since 1998, solar thermal energy has increased by 17% per year, while solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity has grown by 27% per year since 1993. So far, most of the market for solar PV has been in off-grid applications, which in 2007 accounted for 89% of this capacity. Total installed PV capacity increased 27% in 2008 to 32.7 MW. 84% of this increase was from stand alone applications, often remotely located.
Almost 6% of the total energy consumed in Canada is produced from biomass. The majority of this production is in the pulp and paper industry, which uses by-products to produce steam and electricity.
There are more than 30,000 geothermal energy installations in Canada. They are used for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial purposes.
Canada is a world leader in the development of processes for converting cellulosic-based feedstocks, such as agricultural and forestry waste, to cellulosic ethanol.
Ethanol production plants currently operate in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
Environment Canada will require 5% renewable content in gasoline fuel by 2010 and 2% renewable content in diesel and heating oil by 2012.
With support from the Government of Canada, Iogen Corporation built the world's first full-scale demonstration plant to convert biomass fibres to cellulosic ethanol using enzyme technology. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the plant can process over 25 tonnes of wheat straw per week, using enzymes produced in an adjacent facility.