Why we need energy: Our energy challenge
With energy demand in developing nations increasing, renewable energy alone won't keep pace. All sources of energy, including natural gas and crude oil, are needed to meet the supply requirements for an advancing world. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that global demand for energy is expected to increase 27 per cent by 2040 as economies in both developed and emerging countries continue to grow and standards of living improve.
Canada is one of the few countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with growing oil production. Continued to be managed properly, this means more jobs and investment is anticipated for Canada.
- Read more about our industry's national economic contribution
Oil and natural gas as part of our future
As demand for energy continues to rise the supply needed will become increasingly difficult and expensive to find and develop. We believe we can and must continue to operate while advancing environmental protections, maintaining community and worker safety, generating national and local economic growth and working respectfully with the citizens in the communities where we operate.
Sometimes, we take Canada's oil and natural gas for granted. We get up in the morning, turn on the shower, plug in the coffee maker, and hop in our vehicle, to start another day's work. These, along with hundreds of other actions, are things we do each day and they all have one thing in common - they all require energy.
For the foreseeable future, oil and natural gas are going to be important parts of our energy supply. As the world's population grows and our living standards advance, so does energy demand.
While alternative sources of energy are important to continue to develop, the IEA states that hydrocarbons are forecast to remain the world’s dominant source of energy, meeting more than 70 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2040.
Energy supply mix:
- Increasing role for renewables
- Continuing reliance on oil and natural gas
- Increasing role for oil sands crude oil and natural gas
Source: IEA - World Energy Outlook, New Policies Scenario 2018
Growth in the Global Energy Mix, 2017-2040
Source: IEA,World Energy Outlook 2018, New Policies Scenario
The growth in energy use worldwide is driven primarily by China, India, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The outlook predicts that India will see the largest growth in oil demand, while China is set to become the largest oil-consuming country. Natural gas consumption is expected to increase 43 per cent over the forecast period, making it the fastest-growing fossil fuel.
In Canada and around the world, the challenge is not simply to develop enough energy to meet demand, we need to develop the energy while minimizing our environmental impact. Every energy source has an impact on the environment, and our industry addresses our challenges through investment in environmental innovations and technologies. Find out more about what we're doing to protect our air, land and water environments.
Canada's rank in world energy
By most measures, Canada consistently ranks among the top 10 energy producers in the world. Our production exceeds domestic consumption and we are the largest supplier of oil and natural gas to the United States. Canada has more stringent environmental regulation than any other suppliers to the U.S. and our policies and regulations continue to evolve.
A 2017 international survey, the Global Energy Pulse, that measured global attitudes to oil and natural gas found that Canada topped a list of oil and natural gas producing nations as the place people around the world preferred importing their oil and natural gas from.
- Canada is uniquely positioned to provide safe, secure and reliable energy.
- Global demand for energy is expected to increase significantly, as economies in both developed and emerging countries continue to grow and standards of living improve.
- Meeting increased demand will require an increasingly diverse energy supply base – conventional petroleum resources, unconventional crude oil and natural gas, alternative forms of energy – as well as improving energy efficiency across the economy.
- The challenge we all face is how to reduce GHG emissions while the demand for energy is increasing and we transition to lower carbon energy supply sources. This challenge will take a significant effort by all Canadians.