Non-Renewable Energy

Non-Renewable Energy

Non-renewable energy is energy that comes from a source that cannot be replaced after it has been used.

In Ontario, traditional sources of non-renewable energy include oil and gas resources, which are sometimes referred to as conventional energy sources. In addition, Ontario has the potential for non-conventional energy resources in the form of:

  • Gas hydrates
  • Shale (tight) gas
  • Shallow gas

Ontario Geological Survey

The role of the Ontario Geological Survey as related to non-renewable energy is to:

  • Assemble and interpret geoscience data to assist in understanding where non-renewable energy resources may be present.
  • Conduct research on the character of the geological materials that host the energy resources so that their potential is understood.
  • Serve as a source of information and expertise to assist those exploring, developing or managing the resource.


Non-renewable energy sources have the potential to play a key role in Ontario’s future energy supply. As these sources of energy are found beneath the ground surface, geological knowledge is needed to identify, assess and manage these resources. The former oil and gas reservoirs have the potential to be used as long-term storage reservoirs for CO2, which is a greenhouse gas. This use of oil and gas reservoirs as sites to store CO2 gas, a process called CO2 sequestration, is a means for Ontario to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Geological mapping of rock units, identifying structures such as faults, accessing the properties and characteristics of the rock that host the non-renewable resources are some of the functions undertaken by the Ontario Geological Survey. Geological research on the subsurface environment allows more efficient and effective exploration for energy sources by creating a picture of where hydrocarbon-bearing units may be present.