The overall efficiency of Québec's energy system must be improved

The overall efficiency of Quebec’s energy system must be improved

Although still lower than before the pandemic, sales of products tankers would have “recovered a lot” in the road transport sector.

One thing is obvious when you read the report on the state of energy in Quebec, published today by the HEC Montreal Chair in Energy Sector Management: the overall efficiency of the energy sector must be improved. provincial energy system.

“Gasoline sales are on the rise, the fleet of gasoline vehicles is growing and growing, the floor area to be heated is still growing and the improvement in the energy performance of industries is insufficient”, can we read from the first lines of the press release accompanying the publication of the report.

Without additional measures to those identified in the Green Economy Plan 2030 , Quebec will not be able to structurally decarbonize its economy and achieve its climate objectives for 2030 and 2050.

Pierre-Olivier Pineau, holder of the HEC Chair in Energy Sector Management

The thick report reveals a total energy loss of 49% of the energy produced and transformed in Quebec. It is observed that 960 petajoules (PJ) are totally lost, while 956 PJ are transformed into useful energy. “These results suggest that it is essential to improve the overall efficiency of the energy system”, maintains the Chair.

1 petajoule = 10 15 joules or 278 GWh
1 petajoule corresponds to the energy consumption of approximately 10,000 Quebec households, popularizes the report

The Montreal region is also the largest consumer of electricity in the province, with a total of 30 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2021, or 14,611 kilowatt-hours (KWh) per capita.

The transportation in question

The transportation industry and Quebec’s approach to it bear a large part of the responsibility for the current inefficiency of the transportation management system. energy in Quebec.

The share of sales of SUVs and other gasoline-powered trucks has further increased in the market. In 2021, it accounted for 71% of sales compared to 24% in 1990. As for electric cars, they accounted for 9% of new vehicle sales; 57% of those sales were in the truck category. Note that an electric SUV can consume 50% more energy than an electric car.

Although still lower than before the pandemic, sales of petroleum products have “recovered significantly” in the road transport sector, the report also notes.

The’ overall efficiency of Quebec’s energy system must be improved

Photo: HEC Montreal Energy Sector Management Chair

In this graph, available on page 7 of the report, we see that of the 420 PJ injected into transport, 406 PJ come from oil extraction. Of these 406 PJ, only 105 end their journey as useful energy. The rest (315 PJ) is totally lost.

Although the impact of the transportation industry on the state of energy is central to the report, the Quebec Ministry of Transport could not offer a reaction to Metro, having “nothing about it” and not considering to be the ministry concerned.

“Last in class” in terms of energy productivity

Quebec also lags behind Ontario in terms of wealth generated per unit consumed. The energy productivity of La Belle Province is thus 17% lower than that of its neighbor to the west. However, it is slightly above the Canadian average.

In comparison with the international, Canada is “bottom of the class” in terms of energy productivity.

At the federal and provincial levels, there is to date no official and public census of the whole projects in new energy sectors, “despite their importance for the energy transition”, laments the Management Chair.

The data on the operation and performance of these new energy options – namely hydrogen, renewable natural gas (RNG) and biofuels – in the province are not rosy. However, studies on green hydrogen are under study or in development, and four new RNG injection projects are expected and would make it possible to reach the Quebec City target for 2023.

To make the transition a success, we must first reduce our energy consumption.

Pierre-Olivier Pineau, holder of the HEC Energy Sector Management Chair

“Overall, the energy sector is not evolving to match climate ambitions in Quebec,” reads the press release.

Solicited by Métro , the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change affirms that it does not react to the release of reports, studies or scientific articles. However, he specifies that he “follows the evolution of scientific data and adjusts his practices accordingly”.

“Quebec's climate action, which includes the energy transition in particular, is updated annually by the through the Implementation Plan, adds the ministry. It is based on the latest scientific data and innovations. The Energy Transition Master Plan was revised in June 2022.”

Also requested by Métro, the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and ;Énergie had not commented on the report at the time of this article's publication.

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