The CESAR (Canada Energy Systems Analysis Research) blog at had been idle for a while, but reopened 2015 with a post on Québec’s energy flows and related carbon dioxide emissions.

The post ‘The State of Energy in Quebec – 2015’ features two Sankey diagrams originally from a report in French language ‘État de l’énergie au Québec’ by HEC Montral (PDF here). Benjamin Israel is the author (should I say artist?) of these Sankey diagrams.

The first Sankey diagram is on Québec’s energy flows in 2012. Flows are in petajoule (PJ). 1 petajoule is described for everybody to understand as “(278 GWh) corresponding to the energy consumption of approximately 10.000 households in Québéc.”

Four columns give a structure to the diagram: energy sources, transformation, use, efficiency of the system. The upper part depicts energy produced in Quebec (“Énergie Produite en Québec”). Energy sources are purely renewable: hydro, wind and biomass. The bottom part shows fuel imports into the province: petroleum, natural gas, uranium, coal. Grey arrows collect the losses. Interesting to see how losses from energy generation and refineries in column 2 dive beneath crossing bands to rejoin the other losses in column 4.

The second Sankey diagram (from p. 27 in the HEC document) is a summary of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (in French: ‘émissions de gaz à effet de serre’ short: GES) in Québec in 2012.

Given the information from the above energy diagram, where Québec domestic energy production is 100% from renewable sources, it is not surprsing to see that the carbon emissions are mainly from imported energy. Combustion of fossil fuels makes up for 57 of the total 78 Mt CO2-equivalent emissions. The remaining 21 Mt of CO2-equivalent emissions are from industrial processes, agriculture and waste.

Québec’s per capita GHG emissions ranges lowest with 9,7 tonnes of CO2-eqs compared to other Canadian provinces (see scale in lower left).

Beautifully crafted Sankey diagram. I hope to see more on the CESAR blog in the future.

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