CALGARY — The Canada Energy Regulator says it expects slower growth in domestic fossil fuel consumption over the next 20 years as Canadians embrace using more renewable energy and cut their energy use per capita.

But senior energy strategist Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada says the report, if accurate, would see Canada to “blow straight through” its Paris climate accord commitment and be “wildly off track” on the Liberal government’s pledge to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The federal agency says in the Canada’s Energy Future report that energy use is expected to increase by less than five per cent by 2040, while the population grows by 20 per cent.

Non-emitting electricity generation in Canada is expected to rise to 83 per cent from 81 per cent by 2040, with wind and solar doubling to form nearly 10 per cent of Canada’s electricity mix.

The agency forecasts steady oil and gas production growth but at a slower pace than previous reports by the National Energy Board, the agency it replaced.

It says oil output will grow by nearly 50 per cent to around seven million barrels per day by 2040, while gas increases by over 30 per cent to over 20 billion cubic feet per day — with about 3.7 Bcf/d of that in the form of LNG or liquefied natural gas.

The forecast assumes three major proposed pipelines, Trans Mountain, Keystone XL and Line 3, proceed as announced and, along with continued volumes of crude by rail, provide sufficient takeaway capacity for oil production growth.

The CER says its outlook is based on climate and energy policies currently in place or sufficiently detailed at the present time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2019.

The Canadian Press