This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 9/30/2019


Canada’s total installed electricity generation capacity is approximately 135 GW and is projected to reach 170 GW in 2035. The total electricity generated in Canada in 2016 was 648.2 TWH. Canada is among the world’s top countries that rely mostly on clean hydro energy. The composition of energy sources for Canada’s electricity generation in 2016 were hydro (62.4%), nuclear (15.5%), coal (9.5%), natural gas (6.8%), and other renewables (5.0%). The other renewable sources were mostly wind, with some biomass, solar, etc. (source: the Canadian National Energy Board, NEB). Coal-based power generation has already been eliminated in Ontario and Québec. British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Yukon systems rely on hydro for more than 95% of power generation. Alberta and Saskatchewan are the only provinces that rely primarily on fossil fuels (more than 83% of generation).

The regulatory environment is centered at the provincial level, which has full authority over local electrical system regulations, policies, and enforcement. All jurisdictions aim to reduce existing coal-based generation and replace it with gas and renewable energy.

Canada is one of the world leaders in the production and use of energy from renewable sources – hydro, wind, solar, biomass – with significant developments in geothermal and marine energy, accounting for more than 67% of Canada’s total electricity generation in 2016. According to the NEB, renewables like wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar are projected to reach 12% of total power generation by 2035. Total electricity generation has been relatively stable in recent years, because the increases in industrial, commercial, and residential electricity needs have been offset by improved efficiency solutions.
Canada ranks as the United States’ second leading renewable energy market, after Mexico. Wind is Canada’s second largest source of renewable energy (after hydro). Installed wind energy capacity reached 11,898 MW at the end of 2016. The leading provinces for wind are Ontario (4,781 MW), Québec (3,510 MW), and Alberta (1,479 MW). The cumulative solar PV power installed capacity was more than 2,500 MW by the end of 2015, with Ontario ranking as one of the top 20 solar electricity markets in the world based on solar installations.

The total Canadian power generation market defined by 20 HS codes at the 4-digit level covering equipment and materials for power generation, transportation, and distribution, and includes products such as nuclear reactors, power boilers, turbines and turbine generator sets, electrical equipment, and related auxiliary equipment, materials and parts (source: Statistics Canada). Based on this definition of the sector, the total market size in 2018 was approximately US$24 billion, with about $14 billion in local production and $11 billion in imports from the U.S. The table below provides more detailed statistics of the market.

US$ Million




2019 (Estimated)

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US





Total Market Size





(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)
US$ thousands / Exchange Rate: US$1 = C$1.2957

The market drivers are primarily real-time domestic operational needs and provincial policies to align the overall installed capacity to cover the forecast demand and to transition to renewable energy sources. International trade and Canadian currency trends are two additional factors that influence the renewable energy market.

Leading Sub-Sectors

The following power generation and renewable energy sub-sectors recorded significant increases in 2018 indicating the best opportunities for U.S. exporters. The value of Canadian imports is listed in parentheses:

  • Pumps for Liquids, Liquid Elevators (US$2.7 billion)

  • Switchgear Protecting Electrical Circuits, under 1000 volts (US$1.96 billion)

  • Gas Turbines and parts (US$993 million)

  • Copper wire (US$253 million)

  • Electric Generating Sets, Rotary Converters and parts (US$1.02 billion)

  • Switchgear Protecting Electrical Circuits, less than 1000 volts (US$1.96 billion)

  • Systems and components for refurbishment of 8 nuclear reactors

  • Wind turbines, tower sections, rotor blades, casting and forgings and transformers

  • Gears and generators for wind turbines

  • Hydro energy turbines and equipment

  • Smart Grid connection and energy monitoring equipment and software applications

  • Engineering, construction, and logistics services

  • Many other specific product groups and sub-groups



Significant opportunities that make Canada a top market for U.S. companies are driven by existing assets and plans for further development. Sixty to seventy percent of power generation facilities will have to be replaced or upgraded during the next 10-15 years. Total investment in the power generation sector is forecast to reach US$290 billion by 2030, more than US$195 billion of which would be allocated to power generation stations, with the remainder dedicated to the transmission and distribution segments (source: Conference Board of Canada). More than US$20 billion in investment is committed for nuclear reactor refurbishments. The federal government and the provincial governments have dedicated funding programs. The 2019 Federal Government Budget indicates approximately US$14.8 billion in funding for infrastructure projects, including those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean air and safe water systems, and promote renewable power. Examples include US$22.3 million for Clean Wind Power project in Northwest Territories and US$22.2 million for Renewable Tidal Energy project in Nova Scotia.

Opportunities for delivering all types of equipment, installations, components, and materials for all segments, from power generation and transmission to local distribution, exist through various projects across Canada such as:

  • Lake Erie Connector Project (320KV line ON-PA) – Canadian portion

  • Bruce Power, Tiverton, ON - nuclear generation plant – refurbishment of 6 reactors

  • Darlington Nuclear Generation Plant, Darlington, ON – refurbishment of 2 reactors

  • Revelstoke Dam Hydro Unit 6, 300MW

  • New transportation lines and distribution stations, substations - large number of projects

  • Refurbishments and upgrades of existing power generation and distribution stations and substations.

  • Plan Nord – Québec

  • Hydro dams and generation stations refurbishment projects in BC, AB, and QC


Major upcoming events/trade shows

CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition
Calgary, Alberta
October 8-10, 2019

Solar Power International
Salt Lake City, Utah
September 23-26, 2019

APPrO Annual Canadian Power Conference
Toronto, Ontario
November 21-22, 2019

Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show
Ottawa, Ontario
February 2020

GLOBE Forum 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia
February 11-13, 2020

Web Resources

APPRO – Association of Power Producers of Ontario:
B.C. Sustainable Energy Association:
Canada’s Budget 2017:
Canadian Electricity Association:
Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance:
Canadian Hydropower Association:
Canadian Solar Industries Association:
Canadian Wind Energy Association:
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada:
Ministry of Energy of Ontario:
National Energy Board:
Renewable Energy Québec:
Statistics Canada:

For additional information on this sector, please contact Commercial Specialist Stefan Popescu at, tel: (416) 595-5412 ext. 223.



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More Information

Canada Renewable Energy Trade Development and Promotion