Energy Economics 101: The Economics of Atlantic Canada’s Energy Sector

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_Facts about Atlantic Canada’s energy sector:

  • Atlantic Canada’s energy sector directly employed more than 16,500 jobs in 2023.
    • Atlantic Canada’s energy sector indirectly employed more than 21,200 jobs in 2023.
  • The average compensation for paid employees in Atlantic Canada’s energy sector was $102,508 in 2022.
    • This is more than 1.5 times the average for other jobs in the region.
  • There is more than $40 billion in planned capital spending on projects across Atlantic Canada beginning before 2030.
  • Canada’s energy sector pays more than $12 billion annually to governments.
    • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador expects $1.55 billion in oil and gas royalties this year.
  • The Atlantic provinces have more affordable industrial energy rates, on average, than the six New England States (except Vermont).

The Atlantica Centre for Energy works to foster sustainable growth related to energy opportunities in Atlantic Canada.


The energy sector is important to Atlantic Canada. It creates jobs, generates revenues for governments, and is a significant cost for both businesses and households.

An energy transition is underway to decarbonize the Atlantic provinces, and the energy sector will play the most important role to help reach this goal. Most greenhouse gas emissions come from energy being produced or consumed.1 The oil and gas, transportation, and electricity sectors alone contributed 58% of Canada’s GHG emissions in 2021.2

After reading Energy Economics 101, the Centre hopes more Atlantic Canadians will have a better understanding of how important the energy sector is to all aspects of the region’s economy.

_The energy sector influences Atlantic Canada’s economy in four main ways:

  1. Generates investment, jobs and tax revenue to meet our own energy needs.
  2. Generates investment, jobs and tax revenue by exporting energy.
  3. Generates royalties for governments by developing certain energy resources (such as oil and gas).
  4. Energy is an important cost consideration for many businesses and households.