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article imageHydro and wind power provide two-thirds of Canada's electricity

By Karen Graham     May 3, 2017 in Technology
In a report released Tuesday, Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) announced that two-thirds of the country's electricity now comes from renewable energy sources.
Canada is now a world leader in the production of electricity from renewables, with fully 66 percent of the country getting its electricity needs from hydropower and other renewable sources, up from 60 percent in 2005. Only Norway, New Zealand, Brazil, Austria, and Denmark have larger shares, reports the Toronto Star.
The NEB report is good news for the renewable energy sector. In 2015, according to the NEB, Canada produced 10 percent of the world's electricity from hydropower, second only to China, which produced 29 percent. Looking at all renewable energy sources, Canada ranks fourth behind China, the U.S., and Brazil.
The 230-MW Rocher-de-Grand-Mère station  on Quebec s Saint-Maurice River (2004).
The 230-MW Rocher-de-Grand-Mère station, on Quebec's Saint-Maurice River (2004).
Fralambert
“Canada’s hydro generation has allowed the country to be one of the global leaders in renewable energy for years. Now, as solar, wind and other technologies become more cost-competitive, we expect to see a continuing increase in their adoption in the future," said Shelley Milutinovic, the NEB's Chief Economist.
The NEB report notes that "hydropower is a valuable part of Canada’s generation mix since it economically stores energy and moderates fluctuations from more intermittent renewable sources."
The widespread adoption of wind power generation is still a challenge because of its intermittency, but the report suggests that the fluctuations could be overcome by trading electricity with neighboring jurisdictions. The report referenced Denmark, saying, “This strategy allows Denmark to generate 50 percent of its electricity from wind sources.”
Wind farm in Alberta  Canada.
Wind farm in Alberta, Canada.
Cszmurlo
As for other renewable energy sources, biomass produced almost 2.0 percent of Canada's electricity while solar provided 0.5 percent. “Other renewable technologies, such as offshore wind, tidal power, and geothermal energy, have not experienced significant uptake in Canada, but still have potential,” the report said.
The NEB concluded, saying that low carbon emissions associated with renewables have also aligned them with the government's current policy priorities. As a result, the increased adoption of renewables is expected to continue in Canada and internationally.
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