Sankey diagrams associated with fuel and electricity production and use in Canada

CESAR | Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research

All Energy Flows (PJ, Cdn, 2013)



Natural gas





End-use energy

Crude Oil and petroleum products

Bioenergy and renewable electricity

Energy Industry Use & Losses


Primary energy

Imports and exports

Extraction & conversion technologies

Fuel & electricity for energy industry

Powered by CanESS

Data source: CanESS v7.
Sankey diagram built with D3’s Sankey plugin.


First off, these Sankey diagrams are great! I just want to know if N2O is included or excluded. N2O is a powerful greenhouse gas that is generated in many combustion processes. I see that methane has been included as one of the gases on the right-hand side of the diagram, but I don't see nitrous oxide which is often reported along with CO2 and CH4. Keep up the good work!

Thanks for your comments and questions. In these diagrams, we are only showing the flows of energy and carbon (including the energy and carbon in fugitive methane emissions) associated with the fuel and electricity systems of Canada and its provinces. N2O is not included here (although we have the numbers in our models) since we thought that would be confusing in an energy systems sankey. It is important to note that we are also not including the 'process' emissions of carbon that come from non-energy uses, such as the CO2 that is associated with cement manufacturing or iron ore processing (it comes from rock, not from fuel and electricity use). Also, we have not included the methane (or N2O) emissions that come from animal production systems (enteric fermentation or manure management) or those from landfill sites. Hope this helps.

Thank you for producing this informative diagram. It seems that I am only able to access to 2013 - is there a more recent version? Please advise and send a link. Thank you! Kim

Thanks for the comment Kimberly. I have not had the resources needed to update these diagrams for a number of years, as it is very time consuming and expensive. One reason for building the diagrams was to demonstrate their value and convince a federal agency to take over this responsibility. I was willing to donate time and expertise but could not convince any of them to take up the challenge. Our focus now, in partnership with the Transition Accelerator (, is to build credible transition pathways to net zero 2050. I would then like to render these as 'shape-shifting' Sankey diagrams over time. If we are going to transform our energy systems to net zero, we need to understand what the target looks like. This is a big job and will probably take a few more years, if it is even achievable. The quality and availability of Canada's energy system data is a constant barrier to progress. Alas Thank you for your interest and support.

Hello David: Thank you for making this information available. I am disappointed to hear that there has been no take-up by the federal government to do undertake this analysis, given its utility. I was hoping you might be able to give me a summary percentage for the conversion of generated electricity to useful energy [for BC, in 2013] for the industrial, commercial and institutional, and residential sectors. I assume it is quite high overall, but might be different for the different sectors, depending on how much of their respective energy demand consists of efficient vs. inefficient applications of electricity (e.g. LEDs vs. incandescent lighting). While I understand that you have done no updates since 2013, would you hazard a ballpark estimate as to how much the efficiency of converting generated electricity to useful energy has increased since this time (i.e. in 2024) owing to the on-going implementation of energy efficiency improvements in electrical equipment (e.g. LEDs, variable speed motors, scroll compressors, etc.)?