Market Snapshot: Canada – 2nd in the world for hydroelectric production


Release date: 2016-06-22

Canada has vast hydroelectric resources and is one of the world’s top producers of hydro power. In 2013, the most recent year for which global production data is available, the International Energy Agency ranked Canada second in the world in hydroelectric generation, behind only China. For net installed capacity, Canada ranked fourth behind China, the United States, and Brazil.Footnote 1 Hydro accounts for about 60 per cent of Canada’s total generation, and only Norway, Brazil, and Venezuela have a higher share of hydro in their electricity mix.

Source and Description

Source: International Energy Agency, Key World Statistics 2015

Description: This bar chart shows hydroelectric generation in terawatt hours in 2013 for the top ten global producers of hydroelectricity. China leads the globe with 920 terawatt hours, and Canada ranks second at 390 terawatt hours. Brazil, the United States, and the Russian Federation round out the top five countries.

For most recent data, the 2016 BP Statistical Review of World Energy reports Canada as second in the world in hydroelectric consumption for 2014 and 2015. While the numbers reported in the BP Statistical Review are for consumption, they are based on generation data.

Recent projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for global energy supply and demand expect Canada to remain a significant part of the world’s hydroelectric mix. In 2040, Canada is projected to generate 8.5 per cent of the world’s hydro power, which is down slightly from 10 per cent currently. Canadian hydroelectric generation is expected to continue increasing, but growth in production in emerging economies like China and India is expected to increase at a faster pace, thereby decreasing Canada’s global share.

In its report Canada’s Energy Future 2016 the NEB expects Canadian hydropower to increase to over 450 terawatt hours by 2040. This is driven by expanded hydro capacity from projects currently under construction, such as La Romaine in Quebec, Muskrat Falls in Labrador, and Keeyask in Manitoba, as well as projects in the planning and development stages, such as Site C in British Columbia, Petit Mécatina in Quebec, and Conawapa in Manitoba.Footnote 2

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