Canada forecast sees up to 12,000 MW of new hydro through 2030

Canada’s National Energy Board has issued a report examining energy scenarios through 2030, predicting increases in new hydropower construction between 10,000 and 12,000 MW for the period.

Canada’s Energy Future: An Energy Market Assessment includes three scenarios, each with its own set of assumptions, such as economic growth, action on environmental issues, and energy prices. The report also includes a Baseline Projection, the board’s view of the most likely development of energy demand and supply to 2015.

Baseline Projection

Under the Baseline Projection, hydropower would continue to be Canada’s major source of electricity to 2015, increasing its share from about 60 percent of electricity generation to 65 percent. Hydro-based capacity, excluding small hydro, is projected to reach 79,300 MW by 2015, an increase of 7,600 MW from 2005.

That projection assumes construction of the 2,260-MW Lower Churchill project in Newfoundland and Labrador (HNN 9/14/07) and the 200-MW Wuskwatim project in Manitoba (HNN 10/2/07), and the completion of announced hydro projects, including expansion of existing facilities — 3,194 MW in Quebec and 1,389 MW in British Columbia.

Continuing Trends Scenario

In the Continuing Trends scenario, significant trends apparent at the beginning of the outlook period are presumed to continue through the scenario to 2030. It projects the share of hydro-based generation would increase from 65 percent in 2016 to 68 percent in 2030, reflecting additions of 4,400 MW between 2016 and 2030.

Under that scenario, a total of 12,000 MW of new hydro would be added between 2005 and 2030. Facilities to be built between 2016 and 2030 include 900-MW Peace River Site C in British Columbia (HNN 10/10/07); 1,380-MW Conawapa (HNN 3/8/07) and 620-MW Gull (Keeyask), both in Manitoba; and 1,125 MW in Quebec.

Triple E Scenario

The Triple E scenario refers to a balancing of economic, environmental, and energy objectives. It is characterized by well-functioning energy markets, cooperative international agreements, and rigorous energy demand management.

In that scenario, hydroelectric generation would provide about 60 percent of electricity throughout the forecast period. Capacity would expand to 82,400 MW by 2030, a further increase of 3,000 MW from 2015, and 10,000 MW from 2006.

Fortified Islands Scenario

The third scenario, Fortified Islands, places security concerns uppermost. The scenario is characterized by geopolitical unrest, a lack of international cooperation and trust, and protectionist government policies.

Under that scenario, hydroelectric generation would continue to provide about 60 percent of electricity needs throughout the forecast period. Hydro-based capacity would expand to 82,200 MW by 2030, an increase of 10,450 MW from 2006.

The National Energy Board is an independent federal agency that regulates several aspects of Canada’s energy industry. It collects and analyzes information about Canada’s energy markets through regulatory processes and market monitoring.

While the report focuses on trends in energy supply and demand, it does not offer specific policy direction needed to meet certain objectives.

Copies of the report are available from: The Publications Office, National Energy Board, 444 Seventh Ave., S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2P 0X8 Canada; E-mail: publications@neb-one.gc.ca; (1) 403-299-3562; Internet: www.neb-one.gc.ca.

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