Energy in Ontario

Table 1: Total Ontario energy generation by selected fuels, and related lifecycle pollution emissions, from to 12:00 EDT on Feb 27 2017
FUEL MWh CO2, tons PM, kg NOx, kg SOx, kg
Nuclear 774 14 6 30 18
Gas 750 359 16 465 5
Wind 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 1,524 373 22 495 23
Wind + Gas 750 359 16 465 5
The combination of wind and gas generators produced 750 megawatt-hours (MWh) in the hour ending 12:00, and emitted 359 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 16 kg of particulate matter (PM), 465 kg of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and 5 kg of oxides of sulfur (SOx).

Had a combination of wind and gas replaced the 774 MWh that the nuclear fleet produced, the total environmental impact would have been:
  • 656 tons of CO2
  • 31 kg of PM
  • 852 kg of NOx
  • 14 kg of SOx



Table 2: Total Ontario energy generation by selected fuels, and related lifecycle pollution emissions, from midnight to 12:00 EDT on Feb 27 2017
FUEL MWh CO2, tons PM, kg NOx, kg SOx, kg
Nuclear 12,449 230 100 486 286
Gas 4,413 2,109 93 2,736 31
Wind 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 16,862 2,340 192 3,222 317
Wind + Gas 4,413 2,109 93 2,736 31
The combination of wind and gas generators produced 4,413 MWh between midnight and 12:00 on Feb 27 2017, and emitted 2,109 tons of CO2, 93 kg of PM, 2,736 kg of NOx, and 31 kg of SOx.

Had a combination of wind and gas replaced the 12,449 MWh that the nuclear fleet produced, the total environmental impact would have been:
  • 6,902 tons of CO2
  • 249 kg of PM
  • 6,225 kg of NOx
  • 137 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.