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Energy consumption and the petroleum product market continue to expand

Publication of the State of Energy in Quebec, 2021 Edition

January 28, 2021

Petroleum product consumption grew 5% from 2013 to 2019, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by nearly 3% from 2017 to 2018. And while COVID-19 will have had a significant effect on Quebec’s energy consumption in 2020, the resumption of activities has boosted consumption levels, owing largely to the steady trajectory of fuel-inefficient vehicles.

This document presents the main observations in the State of Energy in Quebec, 2021 Edition, which was released (in French) January 28 by the Chair in Energy Sector Management of HEC Montréal.

This annual review assembles the most recent data on the energy sector relating to decarbonization. Its production was funded by the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles. It was written by the Chairholder, Pierre-Olivier Pineau, and by Johanne Whitmore.

Growing market share of light trucks in the automotive industry

“The Quebec government’s insistence on electrification, especially in the transport sector, has not put a dent in petroleum product consumption or greenhouse gas emissions (GES),” says concerned Chairholder, Pierre-Olivier Pineau. Indeed, despite increased electric vehicle sales accounting for 6% of total sales in 2019, and the installation of new charging stations, the market share of light trucks (including SUVs) continues to rise and accounted for 69% of total sales in 2019.

“The COVID-19 crisis, the slowed economy and the fight against climate change have not curbed appetite for new large vehicles in Quebec’s automotive industry,” says Mr. Pineau. “Without additional measures to those set out in the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, it is hard to see how we will meet our climate objectives.”


Pathways to transition

He believes that a successful transition requires us to first reduce and optimize consumption, then switch to renewable energy, and then electrify, as Germany has done. Greater reliance on green taxation, the circular economy, and regulations must also be considered.

To learn more, read the State of Energy in Quebec, 2021 Edition (in French)

See what the Chair in Energy Sector Management of HEC Montréal has been working on (in French)


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