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Canada's 2016 greenhouse gas emissions Reference Case

Methodology and modelling assumptions

The approach to developing Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions projections is in line with generally recognized best practices and involves two main features:

  1. Using the most up-to-date statistics on GHG emissions and energy use, and sourcing key assumptions from the best available public and private expert sources; and
  2. Developing scenarios of emission projections using a detailed, Energy, Emissions and Economy Model for Canada (E3MC). E3MC has two components: Energy 2020, which incorporates Canada’s energy supply and demand structure, and the in-house macroeconomic model of the Canadian economy. For more information on the models and methodology, please see Canada’s Emissions Trends 2014.

Modelling estimates are subject to consultations with various stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, to review modelling assumptions, implemented policies and measures and emission estimates. Modelling assumptions also undergo a periodic external review process.

In addition to annual data updates, improvements to the E3MC modelling methodology are periodically undertaken to provide better estimates of energy and emissions. Some key improvements since Canada’s Second Biennial Report are the following:

  • Emissions factors associated with LNG production, heavy duty vehicles (HDV) and residential wood waste combustion were revised;
  • The natural gas pipeline economic driver was changed from national natural gas production to provincial natural gas demand or provincial natural gas production depending on the region of the country;
  • Forecasted British Columbia natural gas processing CO2 emissions from venting were reduced to account for lower CO2 content in provincial gas deposits;
  • Some additional utility-owned cogeneration emissions were allocated to the economic sectors in which they occur;
  • Fuel consumption used in cogeneration was split between heat and electricity production for sectors previously lacking a split;
  • Cogeneration from manufacturing sectors was adjusted to grow at the same rate as electricity demand in these sectors;
  • Off-grid electricity generation and demand were added to Alberta oil sands and Newfoundland frontier oil production;
  • A new 100 MW electric transmission intertie between Saskatchewan and Manitoba was added in 2020;
  • Historical data for electricity generation from solar, wind, landfill gas and industrial hydroelectricity was revised upward;
  • Projections of Quebec electric vehicle sales out to 2030 were utilized in modeling;
  • Phase-outs of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in vehicle air conditioning and electric vehicle uptake were incorporated as compliance mechanisms by vehicle manufacturers in the light duty vehicle regulations;
  • Projected HFC growth rates were differentiated between buildings and transportation sectors;
  • Endogenous technology change was added to the building sector;
  • Historical building device efficiencies were revised;
  • Biological treatment of solid waste was added as a new emission source.
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