NEB energy forecast calls for more clean power and more oil output by 2040

The National Energy Board says renewable sources of electricity in Canada will grow over the next 20 years but so will Canadian oil and natural gas production.

In a new report, the national regulator says Canadians will learn to use less energy, even as the economy grows, through to 2040.

Under its reference or base case, the NEB predicts total Canadian electricity generation will increase by about 12 per cent from 2017 to 2040, with most of the new sources from natural gas, wind or hydro.

By 2040, the share of non-emitting electricity generation rises to nearly 84 per cent, compared to about 80 per cent now.

The NEB forecasts crude oil production will grow to 6.9 million barrels per day in 2040, up 58 per cent from 4.4 million barrels per day in 2017, with most of the increase from the oilsands.

The board envisions price discounts for Western Canadian Select bitumen blend compared with U.S. benchmark crude will remain higher than typical at US$26.30 per barrel in 2020 but will return to a sustained level of US$14 per barrel by 2027.