In 2015, Canada exported approximately 30.5 million tonnes (Mt) of coal, a decrease of 4 Mt from 2014. The majority of the coal exported (28 Mt) was steel-making metallurgical coal.
Percentage of total exports in 2011:
- Asia – 73.4%
- Europe and the Middle East – 13.3%
- US – 13.4%
Canada consumed 50 million tonnes of coal in 2010 and the majority of this consumption was used for coal-fired electricity.
- 44 million tonnes was used by 19 coal-fired power generation plants in Canada
- 3.9 million tonnes was transformed into coke and used in the iron and steel industry
- 2.6 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 as of 2015:
- Alberta – 51%
- Nova Scotia – 56%
- Saskatchewan – 42%
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.
For more information: Coal 2012 Annual Review (Natural Resources Canada)
Total Power Generation By Fuel (2009)
Image Source: Natural Resources Canada.