Seminar: Canadian and US Energy Markets: Meshed and Challenged

ENE472 Seminar: Canadian and US Energy Markets: Meshed and Challenged

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    In the last 10 years, oil production in North America almost doubled and natural gas production increased by 50%. This growth is driven by unconventional oil and gas production, both in the US and in Canada. During the same period, total electricity generation remained stable, but the power sector’s energy mix changed significantly: 40% drop in coal, 50% reduction of oil, compensated by an increase of 60% in natural gas, 6% in hydropower and 250% in other renewable sources. All these changes in the US and Canadian energy markets have worldwide implications: lower oil and gas prices, boosting economic growth but making GHG reductions more difficult. We will analyze these trends and explore the challenges created by these developments.

    The following topics will be covered:

    1. Oil markets in the US, Canada and Mexico
    2. Natural gas and LNG developments in North America
    3. Decarbonization of electricity markets: progresses but significant barriers
    4. The North American mosaic of carbon prices

  • Learning outcome

    Upon successful completion, the students will:


    • Have a good understanding of North American energy markets (oil & gas, electricity) in terms of production and consumption.
    • Have a good understanding of the structure and key institutions of North American energy markets.


    • Be able to analyse North American energy challenges in fossil fuels and electricity supply and demand.
    • Be able to assess carbon markets and their impact in North America.

    General competences

    • Understand the global significance of North American energy market developments.
    • Appreciate the energy production and consumption dynamics in North America.
    • Be aware of the key decarbonization challenges in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

  • Teaching

    One week-long intensive course with lectures and small case-studies. All lectures will be given on Zoom.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Attendance is mandatory on the digital platform. A short presentation will have to be given.

  • Assessment

    An individual essay (assignment) of 5,000 to 6,000 words on a North American energy challenge. The essay should include a description of the issue, some details of the possible technological and market solutions and a short analysis of the obstacles (institutional, social or of other types) that could be faced, with some approach to overcome them.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    IEA (2016) Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Canada 2015 Review. Paris: International Energy Agency.

    IEA (2017) Energy Policies Beyond IEA Countries: Mexico 2017. Paris: International Energy Agency.

    IEA (2019) Energy Policies of IEA Countries: United States 2019 Review. Paris: International Energy Agency.

    FERC (2020) Energy Primer: A Handbook of Energy Market Basics. Washington: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered Spring 2021 (first time), first week of the semester.

Course responsible

Professor Pierre-Olivier Pineau, Department of Decision Sciences and Chair in Energy Sector Management, HEC Montreal