Energy production, transformation and trade


The Canadian energy system has several unique characteristics that make it stand out on the world scene, despite its relatively small relative population and economy. Some notable differences are presented in this chapter.


  • Canada is one of the world’s largest energy producers and exporters, with significant fossil fuel and uranium ore extraction sectors.
  • Eighty percent of Canada’s electricity production is from low-carbon sources; however, its electricity energy mix varies significantly between provinces.
  • Over the past 20 years, natural gas rose from almost 0% of Canada’s total energy imports to 30.2% in 2019, while crude oil exports almost tripled.
  • Wind and solar electricity generation have enabled private actors to penetrate a traditionally public sector.
  • GHG reduction targets, global oil prices and energy access to markets are the dominant issues shaping current energy debates in Canada.
  • Energy imports, including oil, gas and electricity, are mainly from the USA.
  • Due to limited interprovincial electricity infrastructures and political relations, small quantities are exchanged between the provinces; in contrast, efforts to decarbonize electricity generation in the US are attracting considerable interest from low-carbon Canadian utilities.