Canada’s non-hydro renewable power capacity grew by more than eight percent in 2016, adding nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) of wind, solar, and biomass-generated power, according to the National Energy Board’s (NEB) 2017 update of the Canada’s Renewable Power Landscape 2017 report.
In fact, wind energy was the dominant source of new non-hydro renewable capacity. Across Canada, 830 MW of new wind capacity was added in 2016, while 463 MW of solar and biomass capacity was added.
Overall in 2016, Canada’s electricity generation was 66% renewable, with non-hydro renewables accounting for 7.2% and hydro accounting for 58.8%. When nuclear power generation is added, a total of 80.6% of Canada’s electricity was non-emitting in terms of greenhouse gases.
The long-term trend in Canada since 2005 has been increased power generation from natural gas and wind, and decreased generation from coal.
“Since 2005, the electricity sector has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by one-third, even though Canada’s total emissions only fell by 2.2 per cent in that same time period,” said Shelley Milutinovic, Chief Economist, NEB. “While hydro will remain Canada’s dominant source of power, we continue to see impressive gains in non-hydro renewable capacity from wind, solar and biomass.”
In 2016, total Canadian natural gas-fired power generation actually dropped due to decreases in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador. However, in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, natural gas generation increased as part of these provinces’ ongoing transition away from coal.
The NEB monitors energy markets and assesses Canadian energy requirements and trends to support its regulatory responsibilities. This report is part of a series of publications on energy supply, demand, and infrastructure that the NEB publishes regularly as part of its ongoing market monitoring.
The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada’s energy industry. It regulates pipelines, energy development and trade in the public interest with safety as its primary concern.
For more information on the NEB and its mandate, please visit www.neb-one.gc.ca
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