21 Mar. 2018
Energy consumption - a quick history
One hundred thousand years ago, when people lived in small groups and hunted for food, each individual used about 20,000 Btu per day. That energy was supplied by food and firewood.
Two thousand years ago, with the development of agriculture and harnessing the power of animals, energy consumption per person increased to 80,000 Btu per day.
A little over two hundred years ago, with the industrial revolution and the exploitation of fossil fuel energy on a large scale, energy use jumped to over 400,000 Btu per person per day.
Today we each use about 1, 000,000 Btu per day.
Fossil fuels were in use before the industrial revolution. Coal was used in China as early as 1100 BC. In the 1700s, several things changed in Europe and North America: populations were growing more rapidly than ever before, and new machines and technologies were being invented, including steam engines.
Suddenly there were many more ways to harness energy, and more economic demand for the services energy could provide. Energy use per person grew and world energy use grew even faster because of rising population, a trend that continues to this day.
Energy Production in Canada
Canada has access to secure, reliable and diverse sources of energy.
With major fossil fuel deposits in western Canada and off the east coast, Canada is the third-largest producer of natural gas and the ninth-largest producer of crude oil in the world. Electrical generation in western Canada is fueled by domestic coal.
Canada is the second-largest producer of hydro-electric power in the world. Major hydro projects in James Bay and Churchill Falls supply almost 60% of the country’s electricity.
The nuclear power industry, fueled by domestic uranium, operates 20 CANDU reactors in Canada, supplying power to customers throughout Ontario and New Brunswick.
Renewable energy production in Canada, especially wind power, has recently experienced a boom. However, this growth has been outpaced by other countries including the United States, Germany other European nations, and even developing countries such as China. Canada remains one of the least energy-efficient developed countries in the world.