Where does electricity comes from in Canada?

June 7, 2016
Electricity Generation in
Exports and Imports of Electricity in Canada (in terawatt hours)

Key Descriptors

  • The dwelling associated with electricity industry was evolving within the last ten years. In most provinces, there has been a shift from vertically-integrated electric utilities (usually provincial Crown corporations) to various examples of marketplace liberalization and/or unbundling of generation, transmission and distribution solutions.
  • In 2014, electric resources and industry in Canada created 639 terawatt hours. Canada is the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world. Hydroelectricity makes up 59.3 % associated with country’s electricity offer. Various other sources include coal, uranium, gas, petroleum and non-hydro renewable resources.
  • In 2014, practically 59 terawatt hours had been exported into the usa, while about 13 terawatt hours were imported.
  • The industrial sector is the reason the greatest share of need, fuelled because of the presence of some energy-intensive manufacturing tasks. The residential and commercial-institutional sectors in addition consume large quantities of electrical energy.
  • Factors particularly populace growth and higher use of electric devices and gear are anticipated to carry on to drive electrical energy demand in following years, whereas the reduced economic development could decrease the electrical energy demand.
  • Canadian consumers benefit from a number of the most affordable electrical energy rates within the evolved globe. Costs are especially low in the provinces where in actuality the electrical energy sold to customers originates mostly from hydroelectric dams.

Understanding Electricity?

Electrical energy is the movement of electrons from a negatively charged human anatomy to an absolutely recharged body. Electrical energy can be used by people as an electricity origin in many applications such as home heating, lighting and running electric motors.

While electricity exists in normal forms particularly lightning and fixed electrical energy, most commonly it is created for peoples use by electromechanical generators. These generators is propelled by the kinetic power of moving liquid and wind, or by the movement of steam created from water boiled by gas combustion or nuclear fission. Various other energy resources and technologies could also be used, including propane turbines and solar photovoltaic cells. Once created, the electrical energy is transported by a conductor (usually copper cable) to a place in which it really is became functional energy, be it light, thermal, or kinetic power.

Business Structure

The electrical energy business is involved in three main tasks:

  • the generation of electricity utilizing various energy resources and technologies;
  • the high-voltage transmission of electricity, usually over-long distances, to carry electricity from power flowers to end-use areas; and,
  • the circulation of electricity to end-users, often through low-voltage neighborhood distribution energy outlines.

The generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Canada fall primarily under provincial jurisdiction. Provincial governments exercise their jurisdiction through provincial Crown resources and regulating agencies. Historically, electricity has-been supplied primarily by vertically-integrated electric utilities that were often provincial Crown corporations with dominance rights (age.g., Manitoba Hydro). Some big manufacturing electrical energy users, particularly aluminum manufacturers, have also built electricity generation services to meet up with their particular electrical energy requirements.

Within the last ten years, the structure associated with the electrical energy industry has actually encountered considerable change. Many provinces have actually unbundled the generation, transmission and distribution features of electric resources into individual businesses. Also, some provinces have actually moved towards a more competitive generation system with all the personal sector playing an escalating part, giving increase to separate energy manufacturers.

Several organizations represent the passions associated with electricity business, like the Canadian Electricity Association, several provincially concentrated independent power manufacturers’ communities, and several source-specific associations (e.g., the Canadian Hydropower Association).

The federal government plays a supporting role by buying analysis and development and giving support to the commercialization of the latest technologies. The National Energy Board workouts national jurisdiction over electrical energy exports and over international and interprovincial energy lines. The Canadian Nuclear protection Commission regulates the usage atomic power and materials to safeguard health, security, security and environment, and also to apply Canada’s worldwide commitments on peaceful utilization of nuclear energy. The us government can be active in the growth of nuclear energy technology through its crown organization, Atomic Energy of Canada restricted.


In the long run, electrical energy generation tends to rise a little annually being fulfill gradually increasing demand. In 2014, electricity generation amounted to 639 terawatt hours. By comparison, electrical energy generation totaled 467 billion kilowatt hours in 1990.

Electricity in Canada is produced from a diversified mixture of resources. Electricity produced from green and nuclear sources is recognized as major energy since it is grabbed right from all-natural sources, while electricity centered on fossil fuels is recognized as secondary energy because is made out of major energy products like coal, gas and oil. The most crucial supply in Canada is moving liquid, which produces 59.3 % of electrical energy offer. Canada could be the second biggest producer of hydroelectricity worldwide with over 378 terawatt hours in 2014. The hydropower set up capacity is much more than 78 gigawatts. This capacity has been created in which favourable geography and hydrography exist, primarily in Quebec, but in addition in British Columbia, Ontario, Labrador and Manitoba.

Fossil fuels would be the 2nd primary source of electricity in Canada. Regarding 9.5 % of electricity offer arises from coal, 8.5 per cent from propane and 1.3 per cent from petroleum. Fossil gasoline generation is specially essential in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where a number of power programs happen built right beside huge coal deposits. Fossil fuel generation normally important in the Atlantic Provinces, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Ontario always rely heavily on coal-fired generation; but in April 2014, the past coal-fired generating capacity ended up being shut down.

Atomic power could be the 3rd most significant electric source in Canada. About 16 percent of electrical energy supply is produced in nuclear energy plants with the Canadian-developed CANDU reactor. Eighteen of Canada’s nineteen running nuclear power installations have been in Ontario, one is in brand new Brunswick. Quebec features chose to power down their atomic power-plant in December 2012.

Source: www.nrcan.gc.ca
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