Energy in Ontario

Table 1: Total Ontario energy generation by selected fuels, and related lifecycle pollution emissions, from to 08:00 EDT on Mar 24 2017
FUEL MWh CO2, tons PM, kg NOx, kg SOx, kg
Nuclear 779 14 6 30 18
Gas 298 142 6 185 2
Wind 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 1,077 157 12 215 20
Wind + Gas 298 142 6 185 2
The combination of wind and gas generators produced 298 megawatt-hours (MWh) in the hour ending 08:00, and emitted 142 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 6 kg of particulate matter (PM), 185 kg of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and 2 kg of oxides of sulfur (SOx).

Had a combination of wind and gas replaced the 779 MWh that the nuclear fleet produced, the total environmental impact would have been:
  • 442 tons of CO2
  • 22 kg of PM
  • 574 kg of NOx
  • 11 kg of SOx



Table 2: Total Ontario energy generation by selected fuels, and related lifecycle pollution emissions, from midnight to 08:00 EDT on Mar 24 2017
FUEL MWh CO2, tons PM, kg NOx, kg SOx, kg
Nuclear 7,011 130 56 273 161
Gas 2,247 1,074 47 1,393 16
Wind 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 9,258 1,204 103 1,667 177
Wind + Gas 2,247 1,074 47 1,393 16
The combination of wind and gas generators produced 2,247 MWh between midnight and 08:00 on Mar 24 2017, and emitted 1,074 tons of CO2, 47 kg of PM, 1,393 kg of NOx, and 16 kg of SOx.

Had a combination of wind and gas replaced the 7,011 MWh that the nuclear fleet produced, the total environmental impact would have been:
  • 3,773 tons of CO2
  • 140 kg of PM
  • 3,506 kg of NOx
  • 77 kg of SOx

Definitions

NOx: Nitrogen oxides (NOx) consist of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) and are formed when nitrogen (N2) combines with oxygen (O2). NO2 directly affect a human’s health by causing acute bronchitis or pneumonia and by causing a lowered resistance to respiratory infections. Long term exposure can also cause chronic lung impairment. NO2 can also affect both terrestrial and aquatic vegetation.

SOx: SOx refers to all sulphur oxides, the two major ones being sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sulphur trioxide (SO3). The most obvious health effects are irritation and inflammation of body tissues that are contacted by the gas. SO2 can increase the severity of existing respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. It also constricts air passages making it difficult to breathe. SO2 can also harm animals and vegetation. It also corrodes metal, causing building materials and textiles to deteriorate and weaken.

PM: Particulate matter (PM) is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. PM is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. PM can increase susceptibility to respiratory infections and can aggravate existing respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, as well as heart diseases, in some cases leading to premature death.