Based on our proprietary forecast model, Canada's projected electricity status by late 2023 is primarily one of low-carbon reliance. Extensive data for the first 9 months of the year, merged with future forecasts for the last quarter, depict an impressive 82% of Canadian electricity hailing from low-carbon sources, out of which Hydropower accounts for more than half. Nuclear energy also contributes significantly, providing slightly more than a tenth of the country's electricity. Wind and biofuels make smaller contributions, and solar energy’s share is close to none. It is noteworthy that less than a fifth of the electricity production in Canada is from fossil fuels, with gas being the primary fossil fuel energy source followed closely by coal. With this heavy lean towards low-carbon energy for electricity and being a substantial exporter of the same, Canada helps not only itself but also neighboring nations in cutting down emissions.
Increasing the low-carbon electricity generation in Canada can be achieved by primarily expanding on the existing nuclear power capacities. Presently, these capacities already generate substantial electricity, and enhancing these would significantly bolster the low-carbon share in the country's power matrix. Alongside this, opportunities for expanding other clean energy sources like wind and solar should also be explored to intensify the breadth of low-carbon energy sources and complement the nuclear expansion.
Trace back to the history of low-carbon electricity production in Canada, several key developments present themselves. Throughout the late 20th century, hydro power was often the main driver behind increases in low-carbon electricity generation. There were significant boosts, especially in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and again in the mid-1990s. There were, however, periods of marked declines in hydro production, such as in 1989 and again in the late 1990s and the turn of the millennium. Nuclear power sources saw an upward surge in the mid-1990s and again in 2004. Despite some oscillations, the overall growth in low-carbon electricity generation signifies Canada's successful strides towards clean, sustainable energy sources.