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Comparing sources of electricity

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The market shares of the various fuels used for generating electricity vary significantly between Canada and the United States. In Canada, hydro accounts for most of the installed power plant capacity and electricity generated, whereas coal and natural gas are the two main sources of electricity in the United States.

Coal is of particular concern because of environmental issues. In the United States, coal represents 31.9% of the country’s installed generating capacity, but accounts for 49.0% of the electricity produced.

In Canada, coal-fired plants represent 13.1% of installed capacity. In 2006, 16.5% of the electric energy produced in Canada came from coal. Coal-fired plants are mainly found in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, provinces with relatively less hydro power.