Canada's Energy Profile


Hydroelectric power plants provide 16.5% of global electricity production. They constitute a predominant source of electricity in certain regions of Canada, a country that possesses the third largest reserve of freshwater in the world and whose territory receives abundant annual precipitation. Over 63% of the electricity produced in Canada comes from hydroelectric generating stations.

Canada is the third largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world, behind China and Brazil. In 2012, 376 TWh of hydroelectricity were produced in Canada, accounting for 10.5% of global production.

Four provinces dominate the production of hydroelectricity. Quebec produced 194 TWh of hydroelectricity in 2012, which represents 52% of total Canadian production. It is followed by British Columbia (64 TWh), Newfoundland (42 TWh) and Manitoba (32 TWh). Each of these provinces produces over 90% of its electricity using hydroelectric power plants.

Hydroelectricity is the least expensive form of electricity produced in Canada, followed by nuclear power and then by electricity produced by coal generating stations. This explains in part why provinces whose needs are primarily provided for by hydroelectricity have lower rates.

Even though it dominates the production of electricity, hydro power represents just 7.5% of primary energy production in Canada, far behind crude oil and natural gas.


International Energy Agency, Key World Energy Statistics, 2013.

Natural Resources Canada, Additional Statistics on Energy, 2013.

Canadian Electricity Association, Canada’s Energy Industry, 2013.

Canadian Electricity Association, Key Canadian Electricity Statistics, May 2013.

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