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Electricity supply and disposition, 2020 (final)

Released: 2021-11-15

Electricity supply

The total amount of electricity generated in Canada decreased by 0.3% to 634.0 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2020, a drop of 2.0 million MWh from 2019.

The main drivers for the decline were attributed to the decrease in combustible fuels and nuclear generation. Year over year, electricity generation from combustible fuels fell by 5.2% (-6.7 million MWh). In 2020, combustible fuels generation declined in nine provinces and two territories. Alberta saw a drop of 3.5% (-2.5 million MWh) in combustible fuels generation, Ontario decreased by 9.0% (-1.2 million MWh) and British Columbia fell by 16.0% (-1.1 million MWh). Nuclear generation was also down in 2020, decreasing 3.0% (-2.8 million MWh) due to reported decreases in both New Brunswick (-4.5% or -226,896 MWh) and Ontario (-2.9% or -2.6 million MWh).

By generation type, hydro and wind accounted for 65.9% of total electricity production and had increases of 1.3% and 8.4%, respectively, in 2020. Hydro remained the single largest contributor to Canada's electricity mix and generated 60.4% of electricity production in 2020. Quebec produced 51.0% of the hydro electricity generated in Canada.

Electricity trade

In 2020, Canada increased its exported electricity to the United States by 11.7% or 7.0 million MWh, and decreased its imports by 26.4% or 3.5 million MWh compared with 2019. Quebec (24.3 million MWh), Ontario (17.6 million MWh) and British Columbia (12.0 million MWh) were the largest exporters of electricity to the United States. British Columbia remains the largest importer of electricity, importing 7.1 million MWh of electricity from the United States, followed by Alberta with 1.8 million MWh.

Electricity use

In 2020, sales volumes of electricity delivered to end-use consumers decreased by 1.7% to 490.2 million MWh compared with 2019. The dollar value of total sales fell 1.1% to $47.6 billion in 2020. Among the customer segments, the sales volumes for residential (+1.7%) and agriculture (+0.1%) rose year over year. End-user electricity sales volumes in mining and manufacturing (-2.9%), and other sales (-4.2%) both declined.

  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 2019 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.

Visit the Energy Statistics Portal to find data, tools and reports to provide you with the latest information on energy in Canada.

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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