Figure 10.5 – Ontario’s energy profile #
Key developments for Ontario:
- Emissions in the REF scenario climb by 90% in 2060, much more than the Canadian average, driven by transport and mainly electricity production.
- The impact of carbon pricing is significant, especially as it leads to a substantial decarbonization of electricity, even though gas thermal increases in absolute value and notable reductions occur in transport. However, overall, CP30 leads to a 6% reduction with respect to 2016 by 2030 and 23% by 2050.
- More than CP30, net-zero scenarios move significantly away from REF right from the start, almost eliminating natural gas electricity production by 2030, whereas it expands seven-fold in REF.
- Electricity production also increases faster than the national average in NZ scenarios over all timeframes: by 3%, 10% to 15% in 2030 for NZ60, NZ50 and NZ45, reaching a factor of three in 2060. A small quantity is imported from other provinces, while exports move away from US markets to neighbouring provinces.
- Transport takes more time to decarbonize, only showing significant reductions starting in the 2030s. However, by 2050 and 2060 these reductions amount to 75%-85% compared with current levels, resulting in levels more than 90% lower than REF in 2060.
- Although process emissions decrease rapidly by 2030 (by 43% in CP30 to 50% in NZ45), industry begins reducing its combustion emissions only after 2030. Eventually, the sector moves into negative emissions territory in 2050 (-5 to -7 MtCO2e for the most aggressive scenarios). While some of these reductions come from BECCS electricity and hydrogen production, these levels of negative emissions remain small compared with remaining emissions, and the province has net positive emissions in 2050 and 2060 in net-zero scenarios. This is a result of the particular industrial profile and the size of the sector for the province, including significant process emissions (+16 to 23 MtCO2e, depending on the scenario). Interestingly, NZ45 results in fewer negative emissions (mainly related to BECCS electricity generation) than NZ50 and NZ60.
- Ontario’s electricity sector has a unique profile among the provinces due to its current large quantity of nuclear production; while this production decreases in both REF and net-zero scenarios, it increases again from the late 2030s in net-zero scenarios owing to the introduction of SMRs. CP30 is interesting in this respect and differs from all other scenarios: the carbon pricing and lowering of the hurdle rates are sufficient to keep existing generation running and SMR production is added from 2040; while wind and solar expansion follow the national pattern
- Biomass production almost doubles in REF by 2040 and the increase is even more substantial in other scenarios. Although significant in absolute terms, these increases are smaller than in other provinces in relative terms. Forest residues increase from their current dominant share similarly in all five scenarios, while the rest of the expansion derives from crop residues and municipal waste from the late 2040s. In the short term, this primarily goes to biofuels production and industrial use in net-zero scenarios, while electricity production also appears before 2030. However, later on the profile of net-zero scenarios diverges from REF and CP30: after 2040, both biofuels production and industrial use shrink in net-zero scenarios, while electricity and hydrogen production expand to help with negative emissions.