CALGARY, A.B. — A new report released by the National Energy Board says that Canada generates a larger share of its electricity from renewables than most other developed economies in the world, largely because of hydroelectric generation.
The report, titled Canada’s Adoption of Renewable Power Sources, provides direct comparisons of how Canada ranks internationally for renewable power adoption. It also covers factors that affect the uptake of each renewable source, including financial costs, reliability and environmental impacts.
In 2015, Canada generated about two-thirds of its electricity from renewable sources. Sixty percent of Canadian electricity came from hydroelectric generation, which accounted for roughly 10 percent of global hydroelectricity in 2015, placing Canada second only to China.
In the same year, wind generation made up four percent of Canada’s electricity generation, which ranked Canada as the seventh largest wind energy producer in the world.
Biomass electricity, which is mostly attributed to burning wood pellets, peat, and wood chips provided about 2 percent of Canada’s electricity. Internationally, biomass also accounts for about 2 percent of global power generation.
One area of renewable energy where Canada trailed other countries was in solar power. Solar accounted for only 0.5 percent of Canada’s generation, and 98 percent of that was in Ontario. In contrast, countries such as Italy, Greece, Germany, and Spain generated at least five per cent of their electricity from solar.
This is the second report on renewable power issued by the NEB in the past year. The first report, titled Canada’s Renewable Power Landscape, covers renewable energy uptake in Canada at the provincial and territorial level.
Canada’s electricity generation per capita is relatively high. With more than 600 terawatt hours of electricity production in 2015, Canada generates as much electricity as countries with much larger populations, including Germany, France, and even Brazil.