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Electricity in Canada in 2023

Global Ranking: #5
80.1% #28 Low-carbon electricity
46.89 % #45 Electrification
1899.49 watts #6 Generation / person
136.92 gCO2eq/kWh #27 Carbon Intensity

Canada's electricity generation stands out globally for its significant reliance on low-carbon sources. In 2023, more than 80% of the country's electricity is produced from clean energy. Hydropower dominates the landscape, contributing mostly to this figure with about 58% of the total. Nuclear power also plays a crucial role, accounting for 14% of the electricity mix. Wind and solar energy, while smaller contributors, add 6% and a little over 1% respectively. The remaining 20% comes from fossil fuels, primarily natural gas and coal, which are responsible for negative impacts like climate change and air pollution. With such a strong base in low-carbon electricity, Canada is well-positioned to tackle the next big challenge: electrifying other sectors like transport, heating, and industry to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Suggestions

To meet these future demands, Canada can bolster its low-carbon electricity generation by expanding existing nuclear facilities and increasing investments in wind and solar technologies. Nuclear power, in particular, stands out as a reliable and substantial source of clean energy that can provide the necessary large-scale electricity generation. By enhancing the capacity of current nuclear plants and exploring new sites, Canada can significantly boost its low-carbon electricity output. Concurrently, increasing the deployment of wind and solar power can diversify the energy portfolio and provide sustainable options that complement hydro and nuclear power. Such a multi-faceted approach ensures that the growing electricity needs can be met without a heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

History

The history of low-carbon electricity in Canada reveals a steady and resilient commitment to clean energy. During the 1980s, hydropower saw notable increases, with significant contributions of around 15 to 20 TWh in various years. However, it also experienced declines, notably in 1989 and 1998. The 1990s marked a critical period for nuclear energy, with substantial gains starting in 1993 and 1994 and again in 2004, emphasizing the importance of nuclear in Canada's energy mix. The early 2000s saw fluctuations in hydro generation, with sharp declines in 2001 and 2003 but a strong recovery in 2005 and 2011. Despite periodic decreases, like the significant drop in 2023, the overall trend has been one of sustained increases in low-carbon electricity generation, underscoring Canada's ongoing commitment to sustainable energy.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1976 to 1984 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1991 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1992 to 2017 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2018 to 2019 the data sources are IEA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the year 2020 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 2021 to 2022 the data sources are Energy Institute and Ember (imports/exports).
For the year 2023 the data source is Ember.
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