This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 12/14/2018


The electrical energy sector in Canada has total installed generating capacity of more than 135 GW and is projected to reach 170 GW in 2035. Canada is among the world’s top countries that rely mostly on clean hydro energy. The primary sources of the total 648.2 TWH electricity generated in 2016 were hydro (62.4 percent), nuclear (15.5 percent), coal (9.45 percent), natural gas (6.8 percent), and other renewables e.g., wind, biomass, solar, etc. (5 percent, almost all wind), according to the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB).  Coal-based power generation has already been eliminated in Ontario and Quebec. British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, PEI and Yukon systems rely on hydro for more than 95 percent of power generation. Alberta, Saskatchewan, are the only provinces that rely primarily on fossil fuels (more than 83 percent 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, replacing 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 percent of Canada’s total electricity generation in 2016. Power generation based on sources like wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar is projected to reach 12 percent by 2035 (NEB). The electricity generated in 2015 was 574 TWH by utilities and 632 TWH total, including industry. This level of power generation has held 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 second leading renewable energy market for U.S. exporters, 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), Quebec (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 one of the top 20 solar electricity markets in the world based on solar installations.

The total Canadian market defined by 20 HS codes at the 4-digit level covering equipment and materials for power generation, transportation, and distribution is at an annual level of approximately US$23 billion. 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 shift toward renewable energy sources. International trade and Canadian currency trends are two additional factors that influence the renewable energy market.

The table below provides statistics, in US$ Millions, on the size of Canada’s market for power generation, transportation, and distribution equipment and materials, defined by 20 HS codes at the 4-digit level (nuclear reactors, power boilers, turbines and turbine generator sets, electrical equipment, related materials and parts)
 2015201620172018 (Estimated)
Total Local Production14,14412,67912,94013,801
Total Exports8,0507,845 8,7429,179
Total Imports19,28918,19219,34420,312
Imports from the US10,0018,9979,4489,920
Total Market Size23,71820,16818,49717,320
(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Leading Sub-Sectors

The following power generation and renewable energy sub-sectors are those that offer the best opportunities for U.S. exporters.  The value of Canadian imports is listed in parentheses:
  • Pumps for Liquids, Liquid Elevators  (US$2.6 billion)
  • Switchgear Protecting Electrical Circuits, under 1000 volts  (US$1.9 billion)
  • Gas Turbines and parts  (US$908 million)
  • Copper wire (US$233 million)
  • Electric Generating Sets, Rotary Converters  (US$708 million)
  • Switchgear Protecting Electrical Circuits, over 1000 volts  (US$295 million)
  • Systems and components for 8 nuclear reactors refurbishment
  • 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. Eighty 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 (per 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 (e.g., Ontario Green Infrastructure Fund). The 2017 Federal Government Budget includes C$5 billion in funding for the Canada Infrastructure Bank for "green infrastructure projects, including those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean air and safe water systems, and promote renewable power."

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:
  • Hydro-Quebec Romaine 3 and 4 hydroelectric generation complex
  • 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 – Quebec
  • Prince Edward Island (PEI) to add another 70MW of wind energy
  • Hydro dams and generation stations refurbishment projects in BC, AB, and QC

Major upcoming events/trade shows

CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition;; October 23-25, 2018; Calgary, AB

Solar Power International 2017;; September 24-27, 2018; Anaheim, CA

APPrO Annual Canadian Power Conference;; November 12-13, 2018; Toronto, ON

Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show;; February 23-24, 2018; Ottawa, ON

GLOBE Forum 2018;; March 14-16, 2018; Vancouver, BC

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 Quebec:
Statistics Canada:

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


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Canada Renewable Energy Trade Development and Promotion