Canada's renewables accounted for 65.6 percent of generation in 2015, up from 60 percent in 2005, according to Canada's National Energy Board's recent report published this month.
Only five countries produced a similar or larger share of electricity from renewable sources: Norway, New Zealand, Brazil, Austria, and Denmark, according to the report entitled Canada’s Adoption of Renewable Power Sources Energy Market Analysis May 2017.
In 2015, Canada was a global leader in total hydroelectricity production, second only to China.
"The country's total renewable capacity was around 94,929 megawatts in 2015 with the share of Canada’s capacity at 65.6 percent," the report showed.
According to the report, hydro plays an important role in total renewable capacity. As of 2015, hydro energy's total capacity reached 79,313 MW.
About 60 percent of Canadian electricity came from hydropower in 2015, typically from large facilities with reservoirs.
"This type of hydropower is a valuable part of Canada’s generation mix, since it economically stores energy and moderates fluctuations from more intermittent renewable sources," the report indicates.
The report also said that wind power capacity in Canada increased twenty-fold from 2005 to 2015.
"In 2015, Canada produced 4.4 percent of its electricity from wind, and every Canadian province and territory generated some power from wind. However, the intermittency of wind generation is still a challenge for widespread adoption," according to the report.
Biomass provided about 2 percent of Canada’s electricity generation in 2015 while solar made up a relatively small component.
"Other renewable technologies, such as offshore wind, tidal power, and geothermal energy, have not experienced significant uptake in Canada, but still have potential," the report showed.
In the country, many factors influence the adoption of different power sources, including installation and generation costs, reliability, and environmental considerations.
Collectively, renewables such as wind and solar are becoming more cost competitive.
Canadian electricity prices are among the lowest in the world, making it difficult for relatively expensive non-hydro renewable sources to compete. Moreover, Canada's electricity demand was relatively flat from 2005 to 2015.
By Gulsen Cagatay