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About renewable energy in Canada

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is energy derived from natural processes that are replenished at a rate that is equal to or faster than the rate at which they are consumed. There are various forms of renewable energy, deriving directly or indirectly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth.

The Renewable Energy Universe

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The table describes the renewable energy transformational universe from the state of a natural resource to the state of useful forms of energy. It consists of three sections with the arrows going from the first section to the second and from the second to the third.

  • The first section shows the renewable resources, with the examples such as moving water, biomass, wind, sunshine, the Earth.
  • The second one presents technology and equipment showing the examples of hydroelectric and wind turbines, wood stoves and furnaces, photovoltaic panels.
  • The third section displays usable energy with the examples of electricity, industrial steam, heat for space and water, biofuels.

Renewable energy in Canada

With its large landmass and diversified geography, Canada has an abundance of renewable resources that can be used to produce energy. These resources include moving water, wind, biomass, solar, geothermal, and ocean energy. Canada is a world leader in the production and use of energy from renewable resources. In 2022, renewable energy sources provided 16.9 percent of Canada’s total primary energy supply*.

Moving water is by far the most important form of renewable energy source in Canada, providing 61.7 percent of Canada’s electricity generation in 2022. In fact, Canada is the third largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world.

Wind, solar, tidal and bioenergy also make an important contribution to Canada’s generation mix. Wind energy and solar PV are the fastest growing sources of electricity in Canada. Cumulative installed capacity for solar PV has grown from 26 megawatts (MW) in 2007 to 6,452 MW in 2022, and for wind power has increased from 1,846 MW in 2007 to 15,132 MW in 2022.

*Total primary energy supply (TPES) = Production + Imports – Exports + Stock changes

Electricity generation in Canada, by source (2022, in gigawatt hours)

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The bar chart displays electricity generation by source in Canada in 2022, in gigawatt hours. The bars of different heights show electricity generation by source as follows:

Hydroelectric energy: 393’789 gigawatt hours
Fossil fuels: 111’611 gigawatt hours
Nuclear: 82’301 gigawatt hours
Wind: 36’488 gigawatt hours
Biomass: 9’127 gigawatt hours
Solar: 4’323 gigawatt hours
Tidal: 0 gigawatt hours
Other: 464 gigawatt hours

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