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Energy supply and demand, 2021

Released: 2022-12-06

The year 2021 saw a notable recovery in economic activity and demand for energy products, although the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the economy and the lives of Canadians with the emergence of new variants.

Primary energy production increases

Primary energy production in Canada increased 4.5% in 2021 to 21 753 petajoules. This followed a 3.2% decrease in 2020.

Crude oil accounted for the largest proportion of primary energy production in Canada in 2021 at 49.8%, followed by natural gas (31.8%), primary electricity (8.3%), total coal (5.6%) and gas plant natural gas liquids (4.2%).

This was the 12th consecutive year in which crude oil accounted for the largest share of primary energy production.

Exports and imports are up

Exports of Canadian energy and energy products increased 5.3% in 2021 to 14 011 petajoules.

Canada exported 79.2% of its crude oil production and 43.9% of its marketable natural gas.

Imports of energy increased 2.5% to 3 681 petajoules. Crude oil accounted for the largest proportion of imports (43.6%), followed by natural gas (33.0%).

Energy consumption rises

Canada's energy consumption increased 2.8% to 8 167 petajoules in 2021, following a 10.5% decrease in 2020.

Energy use increased in three sectors: the industrial (+5.0%) and transportation (+4.9%) sectors saw the greatest increase, followed by the agriculture (+1.9%) sector. Meanwhile, energy use decreased in the residential (-2.1%), public administration (-1.0%), and commercial and other institutional (-0.3%) sectors.

Within the industrial sector, energy consumption increased in the forestry and logging and support activities (+9.5%), mining and oil and gas extraction (+6.2%), construction (+4.7%), and manufacturing (+4.0%) subsectors.

Retail pump sales (63.6%) continued to represent the largest proportion of energy consumption in the transportation sector, followed by road transport and urban transit (14.6%), pipelines (8.3%), airlines (6.6%), railways (3.9%), and marine (3.1%).

Natural gas (37.7%) surpassed refined petroleum products (34.6%) as the main source of energy consumed in Canada for the second year in a row, followed by electricity (24.1%).

Energy consumption trends across the country

Ontario, Alberta and Quebec continued to account for the majority of energy consumed in Canada. In 2021, their combined share of total energy consumption was 74.6%.

Eight regions recorded increases in energy consumption in 2021 compared with 2020. The territories (+6.0%) saw the greatest increase, followed by Quebec (+4.6%), Alberta (+3.8%), Ontario (+2.3%), Prince Edward Island (+1.7%), Saskatchewan (+1.9%), British Columbia (+1.1%), and Nova Scotia (+0.7%).

Energy consumption decreased in three regions in 2021 compared with 2020: New Brunswick (-1.1%), Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.5%), and Manitoba (-0.4%).

  Note to readers

Data for 2020 have been revised.

Revisions to series prior to 2020 are detailed in the footnotes of the associated tables.

Renewable fuel plant statistics (survey number 5294) are included starting with the 2020 reference year.

For more information on energy in Canada, including production, consumption, international trade and much more, please visit the Canadian Centre for Energy Information website and follow #energynews on social media.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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