Did you know that Canada is a global top 10 energy producer? It’s not just for oil and natural gas, either. We are a top 10 global producer of many other forms of energy too!
Canada is lucky to have vast petroleum reserves, while also being blessed with a rich and diverse array of geography from coast-to-coast-to-coast that provides us the opportunity to develop other forms of energy such as hydroelectricity, wind, solar and biofuels.
As it stands today, Canada is a global top 10 producer of these following energies:
3rd – Hydroelectricity
Canada is currently the third largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world behind China and Brazil, with the United States and Russia in fourth and fifth.
While Canada has hydroelectric facilities in all provinces, the most generating capacity is found in Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The water-rich landscapes in the northern part of Manitoba and Rockies in western Alberta are also ideal places to build hydro facilities.
In 2018, hydro accounted for about 60% of Canada’s total electricity generation. In other words, hydro accounts for a large part of the 82% of our total electricity needs we get from non-emitting sources.
4th – Crude Oil
Canada is home to the third largest oil reserves in the world and is also a top five global producer and exporter.
Over 80% of oil produced in Canada comes from Alberta. The oil sands are found in the central / northern part of the province, and are home to about 167 billion recoverable barrels. In total, it's estimated that there are over 2 trillion barrels in the oil sands!
Next up is Saskatchewan, accounting for just over 10% of Canada’s oil production. Newfoundland and Labrador’s off-shore oil plays have placed the easternmost province in third, with about a 5% share of national production.
In 2018, an overwhelming majority of Canada’s crude oil exports (95%) were sent to the United States. Our oil exports accounted for about 50% of total crude oil imports and roughly 20% of refinery crude oil intake in the USA that same year.
4th – Natural Gas
Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer and sixth largest exporter of natural gas. While we are ranked 17th globally for proved reserves, we come in at 5th for technically recoverable shale resources.
Shale formations like the Marcellus are responsible for the huge natural gas boom seen in the United States. Both Canada and the USA are tied when it comes to recoverable natural gas from shale resources, each with 8% of the world’s share.
About 46% of natural gas produced in Canada is exported and sent to our only customer the United States.
A few new liquefied natural gas facilities are currently proposed for the east and west coasts of Canada, which if built would allow exports to other international markets in the years to follow. They include:
6th – Electricity
Canada ranks sixth in the world for electricity production. With about 0.5% of the world’s population, Canada produces 3% of the world’s total electricity output and has one of the production per capita ratios.
Canada beats all other countries however when it comes to total electricity generation from non-emitting resources. We get 82% of our electricity from these, which include:
> hydro (60%)
> nuclear (15%)
> wind (4.4%)
> biomass (1.8%)
> solar (0.5%)
Countries ranked by non-emission sources:
> Canada – 82%
> Russia – 33%
> United States – 33%
> China – 26%
> India – 18%
We are also the world’s third largest exporter. We send all our electricity exports to the United States where it replaces more GHG emission intensive generation, displacing millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
6th – Nuclear Power
Canada ranks the sixth top producer of nuclear energy, accounting for 4% of world production in 2017.
We may not be a top five producer of nuclear power, but we are the world’s second largest producer and exporter of uranium.
Saskatchewan is home to most of Canada’s uranium mines. McArthur River and Cigar Lake are two of the largest mines in the world. They also produce the highest grade of uranium on the planet, anywhere from 10 to 100 times more concentrated than the world average.
Canada currently has 19 operating reactors located in Ontario and New Brunswick. Proposals for three new facilities are also underway in Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario.
7th – Renewable Energy
In 2016, Canada was the 7th largest producer of renewable energy. Hydro takes the lion’s share, with 67.1% of Canadian production in 2017.
Other forms of renewables and their respective share of national production:
> Solid biomass – 23.1%
> Wind – 5.3%
> Ethanol – 1.7%
> Municipal waste / landfill gas - 1.2%
> Biodiesel – 0.7%
> Solar photovoltaic – 0.6%
> Industrial and other waste – 0.3%
> Solar thermal – 0.1%
> Tidal – 0.002%
Canada's leadership when it comes to non-emission sources like wind, solar and hydro is shown by the fact that between 2010 and 2017, renewable electricity generation nationwide increased by 18%.
Canada also reduced its GHG emissions from electricity generation by 42% between 2005 and 2015.
8th – Liquid Biofuels
In 2018, Canada was ranked 8th globally for capacity of biofuels. Liquid biofuels are typically mixed with gasoline or diesel fuel to reduce the amount of GHG emissions from combustion.
Between 2010 and 2017, the carbon intensity of biofuels in Canada dropped by 50%. Reducing GHG emissions from all forms of energy is prime example of our leadership as one of the world’s top energy producers.
9th – Wind Power
Canada is ranked 9th in the world for wind power. With a capacity of 12.8 Gigawatts (GW) and 566 Megawatts (MW) of new installed capacity last year, this energy is generated by nearly 300 wind farms with about 6,600 wind turbines.
To put 12.8 GW into perspective, that’s enough electricity to power approximately 3.3 million homes!
The largest provincial producers of wind energy are Ontario (40%), Quebec (30%) and Alberta (12%).
Atlantic provinces get a fair share of their total electricity demand from wind power: Nova Scotia (12%), New Brunswick (7%), Prince Edward Island (28%), Newfoundland and Labrador (2%).
Canada is A Top Global Energy Exporter
Apart from being one of the world’s top producers, Canada is also a top exporter of energy. We export massive amounts in many different forms, making us the world’s fifth largest net exporter.
In 2018, energy exports accounted for $132.2 billion of the national gross domestic product (GDP), which was 23% of Canada’s total value of merchandise exported that year.
Oil and gas exports accounted for more than $119 billion of that, of which a large majority (95%) went to the United States.
The World Needs More Canadian Energy
Energy is a huge part of our daily lives. As a vast, cold nation who relies on energy to live and exports to thrive, we need to consider the importance of the energy sector to our country from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
Canada continually strives to reduce its environmental footprint in energy, mining, forestry and other industries, showing leadership on the world stage. We are one of the most transparent, regulated and environmentally progressive top energy producers and exporters in the world.
We think the world needs more Canadian energy. Do you? If so, we invite you to join us on social media – hope to see you there!
Anything you can do to help our cause is also much appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!