Market Snapshot: Canada’s electricity sector will get even greener

Release date: 2017-10-26

The National Energy Board’s latest report, Energy Futures 2017, projects considerable changes to the electricity capacity mix, primarily for non-hydro renewables and natural gas. Canada had just under 147 gigawatts (GW) of installed electricity generation capacity in 2016. Of this capacity, 55% was hydro. The remaining capacity was made up by natural gas, nuclear (uranium), coal, oil and coke, and non-hydro renewables such as wind, solar and biomass.

Hydro is projected to remain the dominant source of electricity supply in Canada, making up 48% of total capacity in 2040. The biggest projected changes are a reduction of coal capacity from 7% to 1%, and growth in wind capacity from 8% to 14% between 2016 and 2040. Solar capacity is projected to increase from less than 2% to almost 5%, and biomass capacity is projected to remain stable at about 2%. Hydro’s decline from about 55% of capacity to 48% is due to this faster growth in other forms of generation, such as wind and natural gas-fired generation.

In terms of other non-renewable sources, natural gas’ share of capacity is projected to grow from 15% to 22%. Nuclear (uranium) is projected to decrease from 10% to 6%. Lastly, oil capacity is projected to decline from 3% to 2%.

Source and Description

Source: NEB

Description: This 100% stacked column chart compares Canada’s electricity capacity mix in the year 2015 and 2040. Between 2016 and 2040, in the reference case of Energy Futures 2017:

Hydro’s share of capacity is projected to decline from about 55% to 48%.
Wind capacity is projected to increase from about 8% to 14%.
Biomass capacity is projected to remain stable at about 2%.
Solar capacity is projected to increase from 1.6% to almost 5%.
Uranium’s share of capacity is projected to decrease from about 10% to 6%.
Coal capacity is projected to decrease from about 7% to 1%.
Natural gas capacity is projected to grow from about 15% to 22%.
Oil capacity is projected to decline from about 3% to 2%.

At the provincial level, electricity capacity mixes vary considerably. For example, Quebec, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon have most of their electricity supplied from hydroelectric resources. In contrast, Alberta and Saskatchewan generate most of their electricity from coal and natural gas.

 

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