We get questions

April 8, 2010

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q: What was the first electrical utility company in Canada?

A: In 1884, Pembroke, Ontario became the first city in Canada to be supplied with electricity generated for commercial purposes. From 1884 to 1967, generating and distribution assets were privately owned; however, in 1967, the Pembroke Hydro Electric Commission was formed to purchase the distribution and “in town” assets. In 2000, Pembroke Hydro, along with three other utilities, amalgamated to form the Ottawa River Power Corporation.

We get questions

March 25, 2010

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  I am looking for information on the efficiency of generating electricity using nuclear fission, wind power, solar power and combustion of fossil fuels.

A: According to the National Petroleum Council report Facing the Hard Truths about Energy , coal and natural gas have the following thermal efficiencies:

Coal
  • 37 to 44 per cent efficient
Natural Gas Combustion Turbine
  • 33 to 35 per cent efficient
Natural Gas Combined Cycle
  • 50 to 54 per cent efficient

The article from Scientific American, New Solar Cell Efficiency Record Set, indicates conventional solar photovoltaic cells are about 15 to 17 per cent efficient, although some experimental cells are more than 40 per cent efficient (but unavailable commercially).

The Sustainable Energy for All article Thermal Power Plant Efficiency reports wind efficiency of 40 per cent and nuclear of 35 per cent, but because there are no sources listed for the article, we can’t guarantee their accuracy.

We get questions

May 11, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  What are the products refined from crude oil?

A: Products and percentages for a barrel of oil are as follows:

Gasoline 40%
Diesel Fuel 25%
Light Fuel Oil* 8%
Other** 8%
Heavy Fuel Oil*** 7%
Aviation Jet Fuel 7%
Refining Process 5%
Total 100%

*light fuel oil is used primarily as heating fuel and fuel for ships

**other products include asphalt, lubricants, waxes and raw materials for the petrochemical industry

***heavy fuel oil is used in electricity generation and as fuel for ships

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

We get questions

May 4, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  How much biomass energy capacity does Canada have? Which provinces have the greatest biomass energy capacity?

A:  According to the Canadian Industrial Energy End-use Data and Analysis Centre, Canada’s biomass energy capacity is 5,050 megawatts. Ontario has the greatest capacity with 2,020 megawatts (40 per cent); British Columbia is next with 1,600 megawatts (32 per cent) and New Brunswick is third with 437 megawatts (9 per cent). Wood waste from the lumber industry comprises most of Canada’s biomass.

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

We get questions

April 27, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  How large a furnace would you need to heat a 2,000 square-foot bungalow?

A:  The best way to determine what size furnace you need is to conduct a heat loss calculation. Heat loss calculations are based not only on size, but on floor plan; type, amount and effectiveness of insulation; how well the house is sealed; type of windows, doors, roofing and skylights.

The Canadian Standards Association describes such a method in its CSA F280, “Determining the Required Capacity of Residential Space Heating and Cooling Appliances. It is available from the CSA in PDF format for $75 and hardcopy for $85.

The residential energy assessment initiative has been developed by the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to help property owners make retrofit choices that improve the comfort and energy efficiency of their home and arrange a home energy audit.

The OEE also provides detailed information about the various types of heating appliances and corresponding fuels through a number of downloadable brochures.

Furnace sizing can also be calculated using previous utility bills. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has a section on its website called “Replacing Your Furnace”. The second part of that section provides a furnace sizing calculation using this method.

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

We get questions

April 27, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  What is the average cost of electricity in Canada?

A:  Average Canadian electricity prices are very difficult to estimate, primarily because various methods of generation (coal-fired thermal, gas-fired thermal, wind, hydro, nuclear, etc.) are used in differing proportions across the country and the price for each of these generation types varies with type and over time (peaking hours versus low demand).

Having said that, HydroQuébec tracks the electricity cost for 11 major Canadian cities and the average of those cities is 10.44 cents per kilowatt hour. These prices are for electricity costs only, and don’t include transmission costs, distribution costs or any surcharges or taxes.

City ȼ/kWh
Vancouver, BC 6.98
Edmonton, AB 13.45
Regina, SK 10.91
Winnipeg, MB 6.44
Toronto, ON 11.17
Ottawa, ON 10.61
Montréal, QC 6.81
Moncton, NB 11.51
Charlottetown, PE 14.81
Halifax, NS 11.75
St. John’s, NL 10.43
   
Average 10.44

 

It is interesting to note that the three least-expensive cities, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal, are all from provinces which generate more than 90 per cent of their electricity from hydropower.

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

We get questions

April 20, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.chrome://foxytunes-public/content/signatures/signature-button.png

Q:  How much oil sands production is exported?

A: According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, about half of Canada’s oil sands production is exported to the United States. In 2007, total oil sands production amounted to 513,893 barrels per day of synthetic crude and 687,497 barrels per day of bitumen, for a total of 1,201,390 barrels per day, so about 600,695 barrels per day were exported.

Canada’s total crude oil and equivalents production for 2007 was:

Production Type Barrels/day Per Cent
Conventional Crude Oil 1,385,058 50.1
Pentanes Plus/Condensate 176,749 6.4
Synthetic Crude 513,893 18.6
Bitumen 687,497 24.9
Total 2,763,197 100.0

Oil sands production exports amounted to 43.5 per cent of total Canadian production.

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

We get questions

April 20, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  I’m looking for a formula that converts oil and gas production to residential consumption. 

A:  Estimates on the amount of energy required to heat an average Canadian house vary considerably depending on:

  • house type
  • size of house
  • location of house
  • quality of construction
  • type of heating system
  • conversion factors – the energy content of natural gas (GJ per MMcf) varies with composition of the natural gas as well as conversion temperature

Using NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency statistics on energy end use, (basically dividing residential heat energy used by number of households) detached single family dwellings use about 0.283 gigajoules per day. Other estimates of energy use per day I’ve seen range from 0.410 gigajoules per day to 0.569.

Assuming the energy content of 1 MMcf of natural gas is equal to 1,026 MMBtu and one MMBtu equals 1.055 gigajoules (109 joules), therefore 1 MMcf of natural gas equals 1,082 gigajoules. So, the energy content of one day’s production from the Sable Project (400 to 450 MMcf of natural gas and equivalents) is between 433,000 and 513,000 gigajoules. (source: Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy) 

Energy Consumption per House @ 400 Mcf/d @ 450 MMcf/d
0.283 GJ 1.5 million houses per day 1.8 million houses
0.410 GJ 1.1 million houses 1.25 million houses
0.569 GJ 761,000 houses 902,000 houses

 

Another source states that 35.3 MMcf of natural gas will heat 180 homes for one year, or 65,700 (180 x 365) for a day. So, one day’s production from the Sable Project (400 to 450 MMcf of natural gas and equivalents) would heat between 744,400 (400 ÷ 35.3 x 65,700) and 837,000 (450 ÷ 35.3 x 67,500) homes for one day (2,040 to 2,300 homes per year).

This doesn’t give a precise answer to your question, but it proves that estimates like these are subject to wide variation. As long as you list your assumptions and sources, few will argue with the methodology.

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com  – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

We get questions

April 13, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  Can you point me to where I can find information on Canadian greenhouse gas emissions data by province and by source?

A: Indeed we can.

Chapter 3 of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Understanding the Trends, 1990-2006 contains province-by-province data. This publication is issued by Environment Canada and can be down loaded at http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/ghg/inventory_report/2008_trends/trends_eng.cfm

Environment Canada also publishes the National Inventory Report: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada, 1990-2006. It too contains provincial data . See http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/ghg/inventory_report/2006_report/tdm-toc_eng.cfm

The Energy Use Data Handbook, compiled by Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Efficiency does provide data on a sector-by-sector basis (down to the subsector level) for the residential, commercial, industrial, transportation and energy generation sectors. http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/statistics/handbook07/index.cfm?attr=0

 The Canadian Industrial Energy End-use Data and Analysis Centre published An Inventory of Industrial Energy and Emissions Databases in Canada, 2007 for Natural Resources Canada And Other CIEEDAC Sponsors. It lists a number of data sources including publications by provincial and federal ministries and industrial associations, http://www.cieedac.sfu.ca/CIEEDACweb/pubarticles/Reports%20on%20Other%20Data/Inventory%202007.pdf

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

We get questions

April 6, 2009

The Centre for Energy’s portal is loaded with factual and statistical information about Canada’s energy system. But we still get questions, like this one.

Q:  How do you conduct geothermal energy into a home or businesses?

A:  With low-temperature systems, the water or air depending upon the source, is conducted by pipes to a heat pump where the heat is extracted and circulated through a home or business via conventional duct work. The gathering system and the circulating system are closed circuits totally isolated from each other. The pumps that circulate the water from the source to the heat pump and back are powered by electricity.

In high-temperature systems, the hot water is generally piped directly from the source through a building’s duct work and back to the source and heat pumps aren’t needed. A good description of this can be found on the Office of Energy Efficiency’s website.

Got a question?

Send it to infoservices@centreforenergy.com – we’ll answer it and might even publish it on Flow.

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