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Quebec loses 50% of the energy consumed

Quebec loses 50% of the energy consumed

Nearly 50% of the energy consumed in Quebec is lost, BCF and Quadrat noted in a report unveiled Monday during the publication of the Quebec Economic Barometer.

“Energy inefficiency remains a major challenge in Quebec,” note the study's authors, a team headed by economist François Delorme. The main sectors responsible for this inefficiency are transportation (34%), large industries (23%) and buildings (15%).

To reduce losses, the authors recommend that Quebec devote more efforts to the “least efficient” sector, which is transportation.

According to them, several solutions can be deployed, including tightening standards, implementing tax measures to reduce fuel consumption and discourage vehicle purchases, as well as incentives to encourage the use of cars and public transport.

The observation comes at a time when overall energy demand has been fairly stable since 1995, in contrast to the increase seen elsewhere in the country. Quebec, Canada's third-largest consumer, has lower energy demand than its neighbor Ontario. At this level, it is all a matter of perspective, because per capita consumption remains higher in Quebec than in Ontario.

While the government and Hydro-Québec discuss the need to increase electricity production to meet high demand during the winter peak, the report asserts that Quebec has a “remarkable energy production capacity.”

However, if existing infrastructure meets current needs, a “significant increase in demand for renewable energy” is expected in the coming years.

Specific items will stimulate demand, generating “significant investment,” the study authors estimate. First, there is Quebec's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Then Quebec hopes that the province's automobile fleet will consist of 85% electric vehicles by 2030.

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“These projects […] It will lead to a significant increase in electricity demand. Although Quebec produces the vast majority of renewable energy, it remains a large consumer of fossil fuels, accounting for 55% of final energy used, as we read in the study.

Quebec has the largest electricity production capacity in the country, and in 2019, it produced 94% of its electricity from hydropower plants, from 62 hydropower plants. With a capacity of 4,300 megawatts, wind electricity represents about 5% of the province's total production. “This capacity should be sufficient to meet short-term energy demand,” it is said.