The Energy Mix Library is an invaluable education resource for information on Canada’s energy Demand, Production and Transmission, with insightful articles, videos and information from the most reliable sources.
Discover the ways we make energy in every region of Canada, how it gets from production facilities to our homes and businesses, and the many ways Canadians use the energy we create.
As the generator in a wind turbine creates electricity, a local transformer near the turbine sends it through transmission and distribution lines to users. The electricity can be used locally or put into the electric grid for use farther away.
Wind turbines harness wind energy at speeds of 13 km/h or more to generate electricity. Wind hits the turbine’s blades, which turn a series of internal components connected to a generator to create electricity.
Solar power is not a main energy source in Canada — its total installed capacity was 765 megawatts in 2012. Most of Canada’s solar resources are in southern Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies.
Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. Used for heating and electricity generation, it meets 30 per cent of Canada’s energy demand.
Canada is the world’s third largest producer of hydropower, after China and Brazil, and provides more than 13 per cent of the world’s hydroelectricity. It is also the second largest exporter of hydroelectricity.
Hydro accounts for about 62 per cent of Canada’s electricity production. Canada has 450 hydro stations with a total installed capacity of about 70,000 megawatts, with the potential to more than double that.
Coal is a hardened sedimentary rock made of ancient plant material. As a fossil fuel, it is burned to produce heat and converted to electricity. It is the most common electricity source on Earth, but also produces some of highest GHG emissions.
Natural gas is transported by a 480,000-kilometre-long pipeline system in Canada. Gas is also exported to the U.S. via pipeline. Exports to other countries would have to be compressed into liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be shipped.
Canada is the sixth largest producer of crude oil in the world. Crude oil can be turned into many different fossil fuel products, such as kerosene and gasoline, and usually contains dissolved gases, such as methane, ethane and propane.
Oil is primarily transported by pipeline, although it is also moved by rail. More than 100,000 kilometres of oil pipelines in Canada transport about three million barrels of oil per day.
Geothermal energy is used to heat and cool homes and businesses in 58 countries, including Canada. The energy source is used to generate electricity in 21 countries, but there are no electricity-producing geothermal plants in Canada.
Wind energy accounts for less than one per cent of the world’s energy production but is one of the fastest-growing sources of electricity in the world. In Canada, wind energy supplies three per cent of total electricity demand.
Biomass products, in solid, liquid or gas forms, need to be transported to customers by truck, rail or pipeline. As more biomass plants are built, there may be a need for more transmission facilities.
To heat or cool a building using geothermal energy, heat pump systems transmit warm and cold fluid along pipes throughout a structure. To generate electricity, geothermal power plants use equipment similar to that used in more traditional plants.
The main sources of biomass are woodchips, wood pellets and other wood wastes. Other sources include agriculture and organic waste, such as animal manure and municipal sewage.
Nuclear energy is Canada’s third largest source of electricity, powering 15 per cent of the country’s 12.3 million homes. Four nuclear power plants in Ontario and New Brunswick house 22 nuclear reactors (17 are operational).
To get to the end user, electricity generated from nuclear plants first goes to a transformer, boosting it to a higher voltage so it can be transmitted long distances along transmission lines to local communities.
Ways of harnessing the sun’s energy include solar photovoltaic cells, active solar energy, passive solar energy and concentrating solar power systems.
Oil is primarily transported by pipeline, although it is also moved by rail. More than 100,000 kilometres of transmission pipelines in Canada transport about three million barrels of oil per day.
In Canada, heat pumps are used to harness geothermal energyto heat and cool buildings, called direct use. In Toronto, more than 100buildings, including the Air Canada Centre, use an open-loop geothermal airconditioning system.
Oilsand in its natural state is a blend of crude bitumen, sands and other contaminants and represents 98 per cent of Canada’s oil reserves.
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