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Electricity supply and disposition, 2016

Released: 2017-10-31

Canadian electric utilities and industries generated a combined 648.2 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in 2016, up 0.9% from the previous year. Canada also saw an increase in the volume of exports of electricity to the United States.

The volume of electricity generated in 2016 was primarily produced through hydro generation and thermal generation, which includes nuclear fission. These generation sources were paramount in helping Canada meet its historical electricity supply needs and continue to play a strong role today.

From a provincial perspective, Quebec and Ontario generated the largest amount of electricity in 2016. For the year, Quebec produced 206.7 million MWh (+2.1%), while Ontario produced 156.8 million MWh (-0.6%).

The volume of electricity exported to the United States rose 6.9% to 73.4 million MWh. This represents the highest amount of exports to the United States since 2005.

Telling Canada's story in numbers; #ByTheNumbers

In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.

Statistics Canada, known as the Dominion Bureau of Statistics before 1971, has been publishing electric power generation statistics for nearly a century, with the first statistics released in 1918. At that time, electricity generation was measured using horsepower.

In 1919, the first set of statistical measures using megawatts was introduced. At that time, hydroelectricity and thermal electricity sources, such as coal, wood and petroleum, were the only sources of electricity generation, outputting 5,353,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of hydroelectricity from utilities and 144,000 MWh from thermal generation.

Canada's electrical landscape began to change significantly with the development of Canada's first nuclear power reactor in 1962. The first reported statistics of nuclear power generation occurred in 1969 and reached 494,000 MWh. Nuclear technology would soon become increasingly relied upon as a generation source for Ontario and New Brunswick.

As Canada has continued to invest in and explore new generation technologies, alternative sources of power have emerged and become increasingly relied upon. Today, many utilities and industries are embracing renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and tidal energy.

  Note to readers

The Annual Electricity Supply and Disposition Survey provides data on the amount of electricity generated, interprovincial movements of electricity, imports, exports and sales to final consumers.

Data from 2015 have been revised.

The Annual Electricity Supply and Disposition Survey is now administered as part of Statistics Canada's Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP). Detailed information about the IBSP is available from the Behind the data module of our website.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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