Many of the long-held tenets of the energy sector are being rewritten. Major importers are becoming exporters, while countries long-defined as major energy exporters are also becoming leading centres of global demand growth. The rise of unconventional oil and gas and of renewables is also transforming our understanding of the distribution of the world’s energy resources according to the International Energy Agency.
With respect to the United States (U.S.)-Canada energy relationship, Canadians and Americans share the closest relationship in the world. Canada is currently the leading and most secure, reliable, and competitive energy supper to the U.S., including crude oil and refined petroleum products, natural gas, electricity, and uranium. The U.S. also exports a significant amount of energy to Canada, particularly electricity and natural gas.
Within this energy relationship, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region is a well-established, strategic energy market and transit corridor for the North American economy in terms of production, distribution, and exploration, of fossil fuels (crude and refined oil and gas), nuclear power, and renewable sources of energy, such as hydro-power, wind and solar power, bioenergy, hydrogen and fuel cells and geothermal energy.
Looking ahead, there are important changes taking place in the regional energy market that could appreciably alter the shape of this market, energy use in the region, and the trade in and flow of energy, most notably the development of low-carbon electricity generation alternatives in response to climate change, the advent of distributed energy systems, and increased shale gas production from the Marcelleus, Utica and Antrim shale gas plays.
The Council of the Great Lakes Region is currently seeking partners from government, business, labor, academia and the non-profit community to develop an energy outlook for the region, which would examine the various energy markets in the region, interconnections and trade flows, and investment/development opportunities with a focus on renewable energy.