In 2010, Canada produced 68 million tonnes of coal. Forty (40) million tonnes was thermal coal, twenty-eight (28) million tonnes was steel-making coal. Where did the coal go?
40% of the coal produced in Canada is exported. In 2010, exports totalled 33 million tonnes, a 22% increase from the previous year. The majority of the coal exported was steel-making coal.
Percentage of total exports in 2010:
- Asia – 73%
- Europe and the Middle East – 14%
- US – 13%
Canada consumed 48 million tonnes of coal in 2009 and the majority of this consumption was used for coal-fired electricity.
- 42 million tonnes was used by 19 coal-fired power generation plants in Canada
- 3 million tonnes was transformed into coke and used in the iron and steel industry
- 3 million tonnes was used for industrial energy and non-energy uses.
Some provinces rely heavily on coal fired electricity. The following shows the per cent of electricity generation which comes from coal:
- Alberta – 74%
- Nova Scotia – 73%
- Saskatchewan – 60%
Cost-effective and reliable coal-fired electricty contributes to a strong economic advantage for Alberta and Saskatchewan because of the abundance of locally sourced coal which is harnessed through a “mine-mouth” operation where coal is removed from the earth and moved to a nearby power generation plant to be converted to electricity.
Total Power Generation By Fuel (2009)
Image Source: Natural Resources Canada