2017 Snapshot: How does Canada make energy?
Energy is an important component of our economy, employing almost a million people and accounting for a full 10% of our GDP.
Did you know...
… that Canada has its own nuclear reactor technology called CANDU that is used around the world?
Canada’s Energy Industries
Hydro: Canada is the world’s second largest producer of hydroelectricity. We have over 500 hydro facilities that can produce enough electricity to power nearly 32 million homes.
Renewables: Wind Power has become the second largest renewable power source in Canada, producing almost 4% of our electricity. The generating capacity of wind energy is almost 18 times what it was in 2005.
Oil and Gas: Canada is the world’s fifth largest producer of natural gas and fourth largest producer of oil. The Canadian oil and gas industry supports over 600,000 jobs.
Nuclear: Canada has 19 operating nuclear reactors that supply 16% of our electricity. The industry directly supports about 30,000 jobs with an economic impact of $6 billion.
As we move towards a low-carbon economy, established renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power are becoming cheaper and more widely available. Meanwhile, innovative clean oil and gas technologies and carbon capture, utilization and storage are helping us to extract our fossil fuels more sustainably with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet, there is more that can be done to prepare Canada for a global low-carbon economy. Emerging areas, such as cost effective energy storage, advanced smart grid technologies, digitization, and the automation of industrial processes will enable a more efficient extraction, processing and use of our energy resources.
Establishing new pathways for clean energy solutions is also important to Canada’s future, and has the potential to transform our economy. Canada is turning its attention to accelerating the development of longer-term, high-impact clean energy breakthroughs that will deliver solutions for 2050 and beyond, whether it be disruptive technologies, alternative business or funding models, or capacity building activities.
Government of Canada Actions
The Government of Canada is supporting the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies to help Canada address pressing environmental challenges like climate change and to advance clean, sustained economic growth for years to come. For example:
Funding clean energy research, development and demonstration projects under the Energy Innovation Program, including investing in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector and accelerating emerging renewable energy technologies toward commercialization.
Investing in green infrastructure such as energy efficient buildings, electric vehicle infrastructure, and clean energy solutions for northern communities.
Supporting projects from provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous governments, businesses, and others that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Low Carbon Economy Fund -- an important component of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Committing, with more than 20 other countries, to doubling federal investments in clean energy innovation by 2020 as part of Mission Innovation.
New technologies like biomass are beginning to change Canada’s energy mix.
Need some context?
If you’d like to know more about Canada’s energy systems and the emerging global trends in policy and technology that influence them, download our context paper. This paper, prepared by NRCan energy experts, will provide background on energy use in Canada, the current policy environment, the Generation Energy process, and some key questions to consider as you participate.
If you’d like more detail on a certain topic, visit the Submissions Library.