Canada's Emission Trends 2014: annex 5

Annex 5: Technical Changes Since Emissions Trends Report 2013

The following changes were implemented to provide better estimates of energy and emissions:

  • Allocation of a portion of producer consumption of electricity reported by Statistics Canada to industrial/institutional sectors after accounting for 7% transmission line loss;
  • Balancing of supply and demand of electricity for historic model input;
  • Better alignment to sectoral-level electricity generation and flow data (inputs, exports and inter-regional flows) reported by Statistics Canada;
  • Addition of renewable industrial generation from hydroelectricity and landfill gas;
  • Addition of missing wind electricity generation units;
  • Re-allocation of some utility-owned cogeneration units to their respective industrial/institutional sectors;
  • Better reconciliation of sectoral and unit level electricity data;
  • Evolution of Ontario’s electricity sector based on the province’s Long Term Energy Plan (December 2013);
  • Addition of Ontario's Greener Diesel regulation (April 2014);
  • Allocation of some projected carbon capture and storage offsets to Fertilizers and Petroleum Products sectors (Alberta Carbon Trunk Line Initiative);
  • Used conversion factors from the National Energy Board rather than the Alberta Energy Regulator to convert modeled oil and gas production outputs from energy to volumetric values for reporting in the Emissions Trends Report. This change does not affect modeled emissions but ensures consistency in volumetric amounts reported in Emissions Trends Reports and National Energy Board publications;
  • Improved assumptions for HFC emission projections:
    • Changed the economic driver for the projection from population to GDP in order to better reflect the tendency for increased use of refrigeration and air conditioning in a growing economy;
    • Included a new assumption around the emissions of HFCs at the time of equipment decommissioning.
  • Improved assumptions for passenger transportation device efficiencies: modeling of light duty vehicle regulations was modified for the years 2016 through 2025 to better reflect the composition of the Canadian passenger fleet.
  • Changed energy consumption assumption for the liquid natural gas production sector. Previously, we assumed a ratio of one third of liquid natural gas production powered by electricity from the grid and two thirds powered by natural gas for compression. To be more consistent with the currently proposed projects, we have changed this ratio to 5:95. Fuel consumption assumptions are as follows: electricity, 280 MW to produce 1 billion cubic feet of liquid natural gas per day; natural gas, 11% of natural gas feed is assumed to be consumed in the process.
  • The contribution of LULUCF has decreased from 28 Mt in the 2013 Emissions Trends Report to 19 Mt, mainly because the projected contribution of the Forest Land Remaining Forest Land category has been revised downward by 7 Mt. This change results from a variety of factors:
    • Updated historical data and methodological improvements. Projections for Forest Land Remaining Forest Land have been remodeled to take into account updated information and improved modeling consistent with data and methods used for the 2014 NIR. In particular, data and methodology improvements in producing forest estimates for the NIR resulted in a decrease of 3 Mt in the projected contribution. The updated historical data and methodological improvements are incorporated into the Reference Level, reflecting a process of “technical correction” outlined in the Durban LULUCF agreement.Footnote 28 While the forest management assumptions underlying the Reference Level scenario must not change once established, technical corrections can be made to ensure that the Reference Level reflects historical data and modeling improvements consistent with the latest NIR. The component of the technical correction with the greatest impact on the Reference Level value is inclusion of the impacts of fire and insect infestations in 2010, 2011 and 2012: these impacts were not known in 2011 when the Reference Level was first derived.  Given that the natural disturbance data are included in both the Reference Level and the updated future harvest scenario, the impact of these natural disturbances are meant to cancel out when these two values are compared to calculate the contribution, meaning that the contribution reflects only the effect of changes in human activities.
    • Updated harvest projections. The updated future harvest projections developed by provinces and territories show that harvest levels to 2020 are expected to be higher than what was projected last year, while still remaining below the Reference Level’s harvest assumptions (i.e., average historical level for 1990-2009). Accordingly, the projected contribution of the Forest Land Remaining Forest Land category has been revised downward by a further 4 Mt.
  • The projected contribution of Cropland Remaining Cropland has also been revised and now shows a debit that is 1 Mt higher than estimated last year. Two drivers explain why the rate of sequestration is slightly lower in this year's estimates compared with the 2013 estimates, both related to changes in resource use. The first is that there is more summerfallow being used in 2020 relative to the previous estimate. The second is that there is less forage production in 2020 relative to the previous estimate, as future growth in the beef sector is not anticipated to be as strong as previously projected.
  • The projected contribution of forest conversion has also been revised downward, by about 1 Mt. This decrease is due to recalculations over the period 1990-2011 that result mainly from changes in the allocation of areas converted to peat extraction. The previous assumption that all land converted to peat extraction came from forest land was changed based on geospatial analysis that identified that only 5% of land converted can be considered forest. These changes resulted in a decrease in the estimated value of emissions for the base year 2005 by 1.2 Mt. These recalculations are explained in detail in sections and 7.8.4 of the 2014 NIR.
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