Hydroelectricity in Canada

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Canada is the world's largest producer of hydroelectricity [1] and one of few countries to generate the majority of its electricity from hydroelectricity (59% in 2006). In 2011, Canada consumed the equivalent of 85.2 megatonnes of oil of hydroelectricity, 10.8% of all the hydroelectricity generated in the world.[2] Some provinces and territories, such as British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Yukon produce over 90% of their electricity in this manner.

British Columbia[edit]

90% of BC Hydro's generation is produced by hydroelectric means. Wind and wave power are being investigated and natural gas and thermal power round out the generation portfolio.[3]

Over 80% of BC Hydro's installed in generating capacity is at hydroelectric installations in the Peace and Columbia river basins. The GM Shrum and Peace Canyon generating stations on the Peace River produced 29% of BC Hydro's electricity requirements. In the Columbia River Basin, Mica and Revelstoke hydroelectric plants together contributed 25%, while Kootenay Canal and Seven Mile generating stations together supplied 10%.[3]

The remaining 25 hydroelectric generating stations supplied 14% of electricity production. BC Hydro also operates thermal power plants. The Burrard Thermal Generating Station contributes 7.5% and the remaining 14.5% of the electricity requirement was supplied by purchases and other transactions.[3]


Hydro-Québec's extensive network of 61 hydroelectric dams have a combined capacity of 36,068 megawatts,[4] accounting for nearly half of the Canadian total. Hydropower accounts for 95.73%[5] of the supply sold by the Quebec state-owned utility. Five of Hydro-Québec's hydroelectric facilities are rated above 2,000 MW — the Manic-5, La Grande-4, La Grande-3 La Grande-2-A and Robert-Bourassa stations — while 7 others have a capacity of over 1,000 megawatts.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2014" (PDF). BP Global. BP. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Statistical Review of World Energy June 2012" (PDF). bp.com. BP. 
  3. ^ a b c ergy_in_bc/our_system/generation.html BC Hydro Generation System Retrieved 2012-03-05
  4. ^ a b Hydro-Québec. Hydro Quebec: Annual Report, 2013 (PDF). Montreal. 
  5. ^ Hydro-Québec (2007). "Hydro-Québe's Electricity Facts: Energy Supplies and Air Emissions" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-05-06. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Desbiens, Caroline. Power from the North: Territory, Identity, and the Culture of Hydroelectricity in Quebec (2014)
  • Froschauer, Karl. White gold: Hydroelectric Power in Canada. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1999) excerpt and text search