Power of Water Conference 2015

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Renewable Energy

Waterpower: Ontario's primary source of renewable energy

Today, Ontario's waterpower resources comprise about 26% of the province's energy supply--with an installed capacity of 8,150 Megawatts. Nuclear power accounts for 41%, fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) for 32%, and other renewables (wind, solar etc.) for 1%.

An Energy-efficient Source of Electricity

  • The average facility converts energy to electric energy at a rate of between 75% and 95%.
  • A typical waterpower generating facility has a long life cycle of between 75 and 100 years.
  • The average energy payback ratio (energy required vs. energy produced) is by far the highest among all sources.
  • Relative to other sources, the production of waterpower could be considered a form of energy conservation.

A Province Rich in Water Resources

  • Ontario has more than 250,000 lakes and tens of thousands of kilometres of rivers and streams.
  • About 50 systems support all of Ontario's waterpower production. Fewer than a dozen account for more than eighty percent.
  • Niagara Falls comprises almost a quarter of the installed capacity.
  • Waterpower facilities are located within 10 km of every major town and all cities in north-western Ontario.

Realizing the Potential for Clean, Renewable Waterpower

  • An inventory of waterpower potential in Ontario identified 2,000 sites with basic hydraulic conditions (regularly flowing water and change in elevation) to produce waterpower energy.
  • Just 200 sites have been developed in the last century.
  • Distance to the transmission grid, other natural resource values, and the demand for renewable energy are important factors in realizing waterpower potential.

Sustainable Energy: an Asset for the Future

  • Like other natural resources, Ontario's waterpower resources must be managed and developed to meet present needs and anticipate the requirements of future generations.
  • The waterpower potential that remains in Ontario should be treated as an asset that can continue to contribute energy, now and in the future.
  • Acknowledging and protecting this potential will increase our energy options for the future.

Waterpower - Renewable Energy (PDF Size: 167 K)

Waterpower - Renewable Energy [Cree] (PDF Size: 161 K)

Waterpower - Renewable Energy [Ojibway] (PDF: 61 K)

Climate Change 

The Carbon Intensity of Electricty Generation