Index rank 06

Balance Score


Energy Sustainability Index Rankings and Balance Score

 2011  2012  2013  Trend Score
Energy Performance  8  9  8   
Energy Security  2  2  1  A
Energy Equity  2  2  2  A
Environmental Sustainability  61  66  60  B
Contextual Performance  12  17  14   
Political Strength  9  11  10   
Societal Strength  7  10  10   
Economic Strength  38  48  46   
Overall Rank  8  10  6  AAB
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Fossil Fuel Reserves

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Key Metrics

Industrial sector (% of GDP) 28.6
TPEP / TPEC  (net energy exporter) 1.41
Emission intensity (kg CO2 per USD) 0.43
Energy affordability (USD per kWh) 0.09
GDP / capita (PPP, USD); GDP Group 41,690 (I)
Energy intensity (million BTU per USD) 0.21
CO2 emissions (metric tons CO2 per capita) 15.50
Population Access to Electricity (%) 100.0
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Index Commentary

Canada improves its position four places in this year’s Index. Although one of the top Index performers overall, Canada has not yet managed to solve the energy trilemma, because its weak environmental sustainability ranking undermines its otherwise excellent performance. Canada, one of the largest energy exporters in the world, ranks well on the energy security dimension with a favorable energy export to import ratio. It also has significantly diversified its own electricity generation portfolio away from fossil fuels. Energy equity is also high with plentiful, relatively affordable energy. Environmental sustainability remains Canada’s weakest energy dimension with continuing high levels of energy and emission intensity due to long distances and a higher reliance on energy-intensive resource development industries than most industrialised nations. Emissions per kWh generated stay at relatively low levels because of the hydro-heavy electricity fuel mix. Contextual performance is stable and strong.

Trends and Outlook

Canada’s high and improving position in the Index reflects the country’s extensive and diverse energy resource base and public and private commitment to develop those resources. The two main challenges Canada faces are: 1) balancing resource development with environmental protection; and 2) developing diverse markets for Canada’s energy resources.

The most recent energy policy developments include: 1) strong focus on developing markets for oil and gas beyond North America; 2) expediting energy infrastructure approvals processes; 3) more stringent environmental standards for fossil-fuelled power generation, both federally and provincially. These three developments should support continuing improvement in Canada’s energy balance.

The three key issues policymakers need to focus on are: : 1) managing the environmental/climate impacts of energy resource development; 2) market diversification and 3) ensuring an appropriate sharing of the benefits from resource development, most notably with Canada’s aboriginal population in whose traditional territory most resource development and delivery projects are being developed.