Over 97% of all energy produced in Québec is renewable, and almost entirely hydroelectric. The predominance of this clean, affordable source of energy is a hallmark of Québec and gives it an undeniable advantage in North America.
- GHG emissions from Québec’s hydroelectric generating stations are similar to those of wind energy, i.e. 70 times lower than coal-fired power stations.
- In Québec, electricity costs are 49% lower than in the G7 countries, on average, and 36% lower than in the United States.
- Most of the rest of Québec’s energy is produced with natural gas, especially in the industrial sector.
A reliable power grid
Québec’s power grid, the largest in North America, is one of the most reliable systems in the world.
- North America’s power transmission system meets the highest standards.
- Québec’s power grid is independent from neighbouring transmission systems and has been recognized by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as a full interconnection since 2006.
Hydro-Québec: A dynamic corporation that knows how to innovate
Hydro-Québec is not only the fourth-largest hydropower generator in the world, but also an innovative government corporation that makes a significant contribution to Québec’s economic development by generating, transmitting, distributing and exporting electricity.
A cutting-edge research and innovation facility
Hydro-Québec is North America’s only electric utility to have established its own research centre, Institut de recherche d'Hydro-Québec (IREQ). And that’s on top of funding university research!
- IREQ’s scientific research has helped extend the life of dams, enhance equipment performance, automate power system operations and increase the transmission capacity of high-voltage lines.
- IREQ’s researchers are also working on the electrification of transportation systems. Developing new battery-related technologies is one project underway.
- In partnership with the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore, the research team led by Karim Zaghib, a world-renowned IREQ researcher, has made a major technological breakthrough that could double the storage capacity of rechargeable batteries.
- In 2014, Hydro-Québec and Sony announced a joint venture called Esstalion Technologies for developing large-scale energy storage systems. In June 2015, Esstalion Technologies reported that it would test the first prototype of a storage system that has a capacity of 1.2 MW and can store 1.2 MWh, equivalent to the average daily consumption of 23 Québec homes. This large-scale energy storage system will meet electricity demand during peak consumption periods and facilitate the integration of renewable energy onto the grid.
Natural gas: A complementary option
Natural gas is another source of energy that’s very accessible in Québec. That’s why many plants have opted for it in recent years.
Natural gas is available in Québec’s major industrial centres, and businesses can negotiate fixed-price agreements under certain conditions.
Several programs help cut the cost of switching to new energy-saving equipment and building or renovating energy-efficient buildings.