Renewable Energy in Canada: 33 Facts

Canadian renewable energy facts and statistics cover

Updated April 2023

Did you know that Canada has been a global leader in renewable energy for many years? As the second-largest country in the world, Canada's diversified geography has substantial renewable resources such as moving water, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and coastal tides that can be utilized to produce energy.

Surprisingly, not many Canadians know that we already generate 68 per cent of our electricity demand from renewables or that more than 17 per cent of our country's total primary energy supply is from renewable sources, higher than the average among OECD nations. And we have not even touched the tip of the iceberg of facts regarding renewables in Canada, so don't go anywhere just yet.

We have coaxed over as many sources as possible to compile this list of renewable energy facts in Canada, some of which you may be surprised to learn about. Also see:

33 Canadian Renewable Energy Facts

Canada was the 7th largest producer of renewable energy in the world in 2021

National Renewable Energy Facts

#1 - Canada was seventh-largest producer of renewable energy in the world in 2020 [2]

#2 - Canada sourced 17.3% of its total energy supply from renewable sources in 2020, versus 11.9% for OECD countries and 14.7% for the global average [2]

#3 - Renewable electricity generation in Canada increased by 23% between 2010 and 2020, with solar and wind having the largest growth [2]

#4 - 68% of Canada's electricity came from renewables in 2020 [2]

#5 - There were 183 renewable technology projects valued at $116 billion underway in Canada in 2022 [2]

#6 - Environmental and renewable technology added $67.5 billion to the Canadian economy in 2020, accounting for 3.3% of total gross domestic product (GDP) [2]

#7 - Renewable technology supported 115,053 jobs in Canada in 2020, and approximately 1.6% of Canada's total GDP [2]

#8 - In Canada, environmental and renewable technology exported $14.3 billion in goods in 2020 [2]

Hydropower Facts in Canada

Canada's consumption of renewable energy on a per capita basis is the third largest in the world - Copy

#9 - Canada was the third largest producer of hydroelectricity in 2020, accounting for 9% of global generation [2]

#10 - Hydropower accounted for 60.2% of Canada's electricity supply in 2020 [2]

#11 - Hydropower accounted for 66.2% of Canada's total renewable energy production in 2020 [2]

#12 - Hydropower is a major generator of electricity supply for many provinces and territories across the country, accounting for (in 2020) [2]:

• 97% of Manitoba's electricity supply

• 95.8% of Newfoundland and Labrador's electricity supply

• 93.6% of Quebec's electricity supply

• 89.1% of British Columbia's electricity supply

• 81.9% of the Yukon's electricity supply

• 38.1% of the North West Territories electricity supply

• 25.2% of Ontario's electricity supply

• 18% of Nova Scotia's electricity supply

Wind & Solar Power Facts in Canada

In 2021, Canada had the 8th largest capacity of wind power in the world

#13 - Canada ranked 8th in the world for installed wind energy capacity by the end of 2022 [1]

#14 - Wind power accounts for 98.7% of Prince Edward Island's electricity generation, with Nova Scotia coming in at second highest with 14.4% [2]

#15 - Canada ranked 22nd in the world for installed solar energy capacity in 2020 [1]

#16 - There are approximately 48,000 solar energy installations across Canada [1]

#17 - National solar energy capacity grew by 25.8% across Canada in 2022 [1]

#18 - National wind energy capacity increased by 7.1% across Canada in 2022 [1]

#19 - Wind power accounted for 5.5% of electricity generation in Canada in 2020 [2]

#20 - Approximately 7% of Canada's 2020 electricity demand was met by wind and solar energy in 2021 [1]

#21 - At the end of 2022, Canada had nearly 15 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind capacity and more than 4 GW of major solar energy, for a total of 19 GW of installed renewable energy capacity across Canada [1]

#22 - Overall, the wind, solar and energy storage sector grew by 10.5% this year [1]

#23 - Canada added more than 1.8 GW of new generation capacity in 2022, significantly larger than last year's growth (1 GW in 2021) [1]

#24 - CanREA is forecasting the addition of more than 5 GW of wind and 2 GW of major solar in the short term (2023-5) [1]

#25 - CanREA is working hard to unlock massive opportunities for renewable energy in the coming years [1]

#26 - Canada has 196 major solar energy projects producing power across the country [1]

#27 - Canada has 318 wind energy projects producing power across the country [1]

#28 - Alberta is home to Canada's largest wind farm in Canada called the Blackspring Ridge Wind Project, with 301 MW of capacity

Biomass & Hydrogen Facts in Canada

Canada's wind power capacity could supply electricity to 3.4 million homes across the cou - Copy

#29 - Solid biomass accounted for 23.2% of Canada's renewable energy supply in 2020 [2]

#30 - There were 38 operational co-generation units at pulp and paper mills and 35 Independent Power Providers using biomass in Canada in 2021 [2]

#31 - Canada is the eighth largest producer of biofuels, accounting for 1% of global production in 2020 [2]

#32 - Canada is one of the top 10 hydrogen producers in the world today, with an estimated 3 Mt of hydrogen produced per year [2]

#33 - As of 2017, there were more than 100 established hydrogen and fuel cell companies spanning the whole value chain in Canada, employing more than 2,100 people in direct jobs within Canada, and generating revenues above $200 million and investing $91 million in RD&D [2]

Current Canadian Renewable Energy Projects

From 2010 to 2020, Canada's renewable energy capacity grew by 23 percent

Canada currently has several renewable energy projects that will add thousands more megawatts of capacity to the electricity grid. See a complete list of renewable projects here:

Canada is a Global Leader in Renewables

In 2022, Canada had 163 billion dollars worth of renewable energy projects underway

If these 30+ facts on renewables in Canada did not make you believe in our global leadership in wind, solar, hydro and other energies of the sort, then we do not know what will! 

Canadians must recognize that our country is world-class regarding emission reductions through developing and deploying renewable energy and new innovations. We are global leaders in renewable energy and should be proud of that fact.

We invite you to join us online to learn more about Canada's world-class energy sector on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook today! See how you can participate in our growing movement to support Canada's natural resource sectors and the jobs and prosperity that come with. We hope to see you there!

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SOURCES:

1 – Canadian Renewables Energy Association – By the Numbers – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://renewablesassociation.ca/by-the-numbers/)

2 – Natural Resources Canada – Energy Factbook 2022-2023 – Date Accessed: April 2023