At your service
Here are some of the ways you can use and access CanESS.
Available to develop custom quantitative scenarios, our team of CanESS analysts can work with you to articulate alternative contextual, strategic, policy or geographic themes related to Canadian energy systems.
For organizations which require both Scenario Analysis and the Historical Database on an ongoing basis, full CanESS access is available as a cloud-based subscription service.
ENERGY SYSTEMS LITERACY
Simulation models are powerful tools for understanding complex systems. CanESS - currently used to support several energy systems literacy initiatives - is available as an educational tool.
The product of our rigorous calibration process is a complete and coherent time-series database back to 1978 which describes the evolution of Canada's energy system.
For special issues which require new model structure, our modellers can design and implement the needed elaborations of or extensions to CanESS.
TRAINING & SUPPORT
Our experienced team of CanESS analysts offers a selection of in-person and remote training support services to meet your organization's needs.
First, the basics
CanESS is disaggregated by province and accounts for energy production, consumption and trade - international and interprovincial - for all fuels and feedstocks.
It’s calibrated with observed historical data from 1978 to the present, and enables projection of scenarios forward to 2050 and beyond in one-year time steps.
Present-day and future technologies are explicitly represented: those which transform energy sources into currencies; and those using currencies to deliver energy services.
Canadian Energy Systems Simulator
CanESS is a new breed of energy systems model.
It's an integrated, multi-fuel, multi-sector model with detailed accounting for the sources and uses of energy and the GHG emissions across Canada. It’s a dynamic tool for scenario analysis with a long-term, strategic perspective. It traces where we've been, where we might go and how we might get there.
It's a platform for exploring energy system transformations.
Animated sankey diagram of Canada’s 1978-2010 energy flows generated from CanESS output. Graphic courtesy of CESARNet.ca (University of Calgary).
What can you do with it?
Where do you want to go? Work towards goals and chart various energy system trajectories in so doing. Strategic themes may include low-carbon futures and energy independence.
How do you want to get there? Examine existing or proposed policies and project their likely impacts and implications. Policy themes may include energy efficiency standards, technology assessment and fuel switching.
A fresh modelling approach
CanESS represents a new breed of complex energy systems model, and embodies several unique design and operational philosophies.
PHYSICAL & BEHAVIOURAL
The model design emphasizes a clear separation between physically coherent systems simulation and and alternative models of institutional behaviour.
SCENARIOS & TRANSPARENCY
Built on the whatIf? Modelling Platform, CanESS offers transparency, flexibility, data visualization and scenario management.
Our team assembles and processes energy data to produce a complete and coherent historical time-series energy database for Canada.
BUILT WITH OPEN DATA
Data sources used for calibration and the reference projected scenario are public so the model may serve as a platform for open discussion and analysis.
How it works
CanESS is designed around the concepts of energy services (demand), sources (supply) and the energy currencies and technologies which link them. It represents energy feedstocks (e.g. coal, oil, gas), renewable resources, energy consuming stocks (e.g. vehicles, appliances, dwellings) and all intermediate energy flows
CanESS computational structure
CanESS in action
A selection of studies and initiatives powered by CanESS.
TROTTIER ENERGY FUTURES PROJECT
In this research and modelling effort to determine how Canada can dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, CanESS is one of the tools for analysis.
BEHIND THE SWITCH
To examine how scaling back Ontario’s plans to develop renewable energy would affect electricity prices, The Pembina Institute used CanESS to compare two main scenarios.
YOUR ENERGY STORY
Have you ever wondered how all the energy you consume gets used - or where it comes from? This energy literacy website uses CanESS data to answer these questions.
A product of whatIf? Technologies Inc.
CanESS is developed and maintained by whatIf? Technologies Inc., an Ottawa-based firm specializing in modelling, simulation and quantitative scenario analysis. For more information visit whatiftechnologies.com.