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Energy industry in Canada - statistics & facts

Canada’s energy industry is shaped by an abundance of natural resources. Oil and natural gas are found primarily within Alberta’s oil sands, while the country also benefits from the presence of numerous hydroelectric power plants. In recent years, the government has enforced the goal of boosting Canada’s economy in tandem with a transition towards a low-carbon economy through stringent energy efficiency and emission standards. When looking at the GDP of Canada by energy sector, the petroleum industry contributes by far the most. However, the country maintains a largely low-carbon electricity mix – primarily through hydroelectric turbines and nuclear reactors.

The role of hydropower

Hydropower is Canada’s most used energy source, with hydroelectric turbines having a combined capacity of over 80 gigawatts. The majority of Canada's hydropower generation is located in Québec. This is also the largest contributing factor to the relatively low electricity prices in the province. The average electricity costs for end users in Canada with a monthly consumption of 1,000 kilowatt hours stood at 17.9 Canadian cents in early 2021, compared with 7.3 Canadian cents in Québec.

Industry regulation and employment

In Canada, energy policies are implemented by both the federal and provincial governments. Overall objectives are established by the federal government, while the provincial governments enforce these objectives and develop strategies to reach these goals. The provincial governments regulate the exploration, development, and conservation of fossil fuels as well as electricity production and generation. Under provincial jurisdictions, utility boards regulate oil and natural gas activities, pipelines, and distribution systems, while the federal government manages interprovincial and international trade of the country’s energy resources.

The number of employees in the energy industry has decreased in recent years. While there were over 300,000 people employed in 2019, by 2021 the number of jobs had decreased to around 257,000.

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