Canada has generated about two-thirds of its electricity from renewable energy sources in 2015, without significant uptake of tidal energy, according to a new report released by the country’s National Energy Board (NEB).
The report, titled Canada’s Adoption of Renewable Power Sources, has found that about 60% of Canadian electricity came from hydro power in 2015, typically from large facilities with reservoirs.
Wind accounted for approximately 4% of renewable energy generation, while solar and biomass contributed around 2.5%.
Other renewable technologies, such as offshore wind, tidal power, and geothermal energy, have not experienced significant uptake in Canada, but still have potential, according to the report.
When it comes to tidal energy, Canadian Province of Nova Scotia is the most attractive location for the development of such projects.
The province is home to the Annapolis Tidal Station, built in 1984. The station has an installed capacity of 20MW and generates 29 to 37 GWh of electricity per year, depending on tides.
In late 2016, Cape Sharp Tidal began testing the first turbine of a 4MW project in the Bay of Fundy.
The project consists of two 2 MW in-stream tidal turbines, which, once operational, are estimated to reduce Nova Scotia’s CO2 emissions by 6,000 tonnes per year, NEB’s report states.
Other projects planned for Nova Scotia are Black Rock Tidal Power (5MW), Minas Tidal Limited Partnership (4MW), Atlantis Operations Canada (4.5MW), Halagonia Tidal Energy (4.5MW), and Fundy Tidal (2.95MW).
According to NEB, 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.
The low carbon emissions associated with renewables have also aligned them with current policy priorities, NEB said, adding that the increased adoption of renewables is expected to continue in Canada and abroad.
NEB is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada’s energy industry. It regulates pipelines, energy development and trade in the public interest with safety as its primary concern.