Canada’s Electricity Efficiency vs. the OECD

Blog, Environment, Frontier Centre

  • The global per capita average for electricity consumption is 2.34 megawatts hours (MWh) per year.
  • In industrialized countries, per capita average consumption is 8.09 MWh, or about 3.5 times the global average.
  • The average Canadian consumes over twice the rich country average – about 17.76 MWh per year.
  • Manitoba and Quebec consume the most electricity per capita within Canada, 20.7 and 21.9 MWh respectively.
  • Manitobans consume almost 9 times as much electricity compared to the global average per capita or 2.6 times the OECD average.
  • Excepting Norway and Iceland, Canadians are the most intensive electricity consumers in the world.
  • Another measure of consumption efficiency is the amount of electricity used to produce a dollar of gdp, or economic output.
  • By that measure Manitoba and Quebec are the top electricity consumers in the world.
  • If Canadian jurisdictions were as efficient as the OECD (per GDP) and closed all fossil and nuclear generation, Manitoba would free up over 16 terawatts (billion kilowatt hours) of extra power that would become available for export.
  • This represents a 184% increase in export capacity without adding new generating facilities, foregoing risks associated with cost overruns, market fluctuations, environmental concerns, political interventions and large subsidies.
  • Since the proposed Conawapa dam’s output is about 7 TWh, the conservation potential is equal to almost 2.3 extra equivalent sized dams.

SOURCES: Energy Probe, IEA World Energy Stats 2000, Electric Power Statistics, Statistics Canada – Catalogue No 57-001-XPB