Our Data Base
The Canadian Energy Systems Simulator (CanESS) is an integrated, multi-fuel, multi-sector, provincially-disaggregated energy systems model for Canada. CanESS integrates detailed representations of both the Canadian energy demand and energy supply sectors. For energy demand, CanESS tracks provincial energy consumption for both the final demand sectors (which include transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial end uses) and the energy production processes in the supply sector. For energy supply, CanESS calculates energy provided through electricity generation, hydrocarbon fuel production, and alternative fuel production at the provincial level. Interprovincial and international trade account for differences between energy demand and supply.
CanESS applies bottom-up accounting for energy demand and supply, including energy consuming stocks (e.g., vehicles, appliances and dwellings), energy feedstocks (e.g., coal, oil and gas), and all intermediate energy flows. Transportation sector energy demand, for instance, is built up from vehicle usage for passenger and freight transportation and the stock of vehicles, which are classified by vehicle kind, engine type, and fuel type. CanESS calculates passenger transportation demand by generating trips using family data, which is derived from population, and trips per family. Freight transportation demand in CanESS is consistent with GDP and a tonne-kilometre intensity for both inter-city and intra-city freight. CanESS then splits the calculated tonne-kilometres by mode (e.g., heavy truck, rail and air). To derive vehicle stock, CanESS uses a stock-flow turnover model driven by life tables and demand for new stock in order to capture the impact of older vehicles being replaced by newer vehicles with different characteristics.
CanESS ensures consistency between population size, level of economic activity, services required by the population, the energy system, and emission of greenhouse gases and criteria air contaminants. To maintain this consistency, CanESS is calibrated to track on energy consumption data from the Canadian Report on Energy Supply and Demand (RESD published by Statistics Canada through CANSIM) over historical time from 1978 to the present in one year steps. The result of the calibration is a complete historical database of all of the variables in CanESS adjusted to be coherent with the stock-flow and disposition/supply accounting identities of CanESS. This database is a synthesis of data from a wide variety of data sources including CANSIM, Natural Resources Canada Office of Energy Efficiency, National Energy Board, Environment Canada, Canadian Appliance Manufacturers Association, Commercial and Institutional Consumption of Energy Survey, Canada Mineral Year Book, Census of Mines, Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB, now known as Alberta Energy Regulator), World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE), Canadian Integrated Modelling System (CIMS), and Agriculture Canada.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
Your Energy Story would not be complete without an accounting for Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). GHGs include CO2, CH4 and N2O; however, these gases are usually reported as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). CO2e are a metric measure used to compare emissions from various greenhouse gases based upon their global warming potential (GWP).
GHGs are not as easy to measure physically as fuels. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and various other entities, including Environment Canada, have therefore developed a series of emissions factors that estimate GHG emissions. Most GHG emissions are calculated using an emissions factor for the specific fuel type multiplied by the quantities of that specific fuel consumed. The emissions factors have been fine tuned to recognize differences in fuels resulting from where they are mined, how they are produced and in which sector they are used.
We have applied these combustion emissions factors against the fuel streams tracked by CanESS. CanESS uses GHG combustion emissions factors from Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Efficiency (NRCan). NRCan sources the basic emissions from Environment Canada by sector fuel type and province. Processing done by NRCan with respect to the production and use disposition of detailed coal types gives a more accurate aggregate value used for direct emissions calculations. These emissions factors are specific to each demand sector: Residential, Commercial, Transportation, and Industry.
Fugitive emissions are different since they are not created by combustion of fuel but rather are incidental releases of GHG elements as a result of mining, producing or transporting a fuel. Fugitive emissions are calculated as an intensity related to fuel production which has been historically calibrated based on Environment Canada's reporting of fugitive emissions and Statistics Canada's reporting of fuel produced in CANSIM. CanESS uses Environment Canada’s National Inventory Report for fugitive emissions from the production of fuels and Statistics Canada’s Report on Energy Supply and Demand for the production of fuels to calculate fugitive emissions intenstities.
We have estimated both direct and indirect GHG emissions for each region, and given you breakouts by end use and fuel type. The distinction between direct and indirect emissions is adapted from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol published by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Direct emissions are emissions that occur at an end user's point of use either because of onsite combustion or the release of GHGs as fugitive emissions. Indirect emissions are emissions that are a consequence of the end user's activities but occur at sources elsewhere. For example, GHGs emitted when fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity are a direct emission from the point of view of an electricity generator. From the point of view of a household, office building, shopping mall or hospital that purchases the electricity, the GHGs are indirect emissions because they are not actually burning the fuel, but the fuel would not have been burnt if they hadn't purchased the electricity. When only direct emissions are reported on the website, they are specifically noted.
If you do not find the answer you are looking for here, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to provide you with the answers you seek.
- Why are BC and the 3 Territories grouped together?
- Source data for this region are aggregated by Statistics Canada, largely due to privacy issues relating to energy end users and producers in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Because the population and the number of producers is so small in the Territories, information about their activities could be attributed to individual entities, thus disregarding their right to privacy.
- How do I translate gigajoules (GJs) into barrels, cubic feet or kilowatt hours?
We have used one common energy unit – the gigajoule – rather than barrels of oil, cubic metres of natural gas, or kilowatt hours or megawatts of electricity, in order to facilitate comparisons between different fuel sources. The conversion factors we have used are as follows:
1 gigajoule (GJ) = 0.00016 barrels (bbl) of oil
= 0.02614 cubic meters (m3) of natural gas
= 277.78 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity
1 gigajoule per year (GJ/y) = 0.0000317 megawatts (MW) of electricity (installed capacity)
- Why is everthing dated 2006?
- 2006 is the last year for which data are currently available in CanESS. Updated versions of CanEss will be made available as more recent data are fully integrated into the model. That said, data sources such as Statistics Canada usually lag behind any given current year.
- Can I access the raw data?
- The data are the intellectual property of whatIf? Technologies. CanESS is the product of 15 years of gathering, analyzing, calibrating and organizing information from a variety of sources in order to present a comprehensive, system-wide simulation of Canadian energy demand and supply. To our knowledge, it is the only model of its kind in this country. To protect this intellectual property, access to the raw data is restricted to whatIf? personnel.