Highways, telecom cables, flight paths, river systems: these are among the networks that link Canadians, and make up important elements of our economy, environment and even identity. The infrastructure you see charted on the map above – hydroelectric generation stations and associated electricity transmission lines – are another key part of our national connective tissue.
The map gives you a sense for the scope of the waterpower assets that have already been developed in Canada, and that provide over 60 per cent of our total electricity – cleanly, affordably and reliably. Hover over any pin on the map, and you’ll find out the operator, location and installed capacity of the station located there.
Canada is the fourth-largest hydroelectricity generator in the world, and this formidable suite of more than 500 clean energy assets will be instrumental in realizing our national goal of net zero carbon emissions. They are also a basis for potentially significant growth in valuable electricity exports, as the U.S. accelerates efforts to decarbonize its electricity grid.
And while these generating stations are typically long-lived assets, hydroelectricity is a very dynamic category of infrastructure. Numerous new projects of widely varying sizes are currently under development, reflecting the large extent of as-yet unharnessed hydroelectricity capacity in the country.
Hydro operators are also pursuing refurbishments, which extend the life and improve the performance of existing stations. In fact, transformative developments are underway that involve leveraging the battery-like potential of water storage, integrating hydroelectricity with emerging energy opportunities such as green hydrogen production, and meeting the needs of remote and off-grid communities.
Hydroelectricity assets make up one of the most vast, varied and vital networks that bind us together as a country, and it will only become more important in the years ahead. Learn about the waterpower infrastructure near you, through this interactive map created in partnership with Canadian Geographic.
Hydropower Special Market Report by IEA (July 2021)
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