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Canada Clean Energy for Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Clean energy investments in Canada are business opportunities for U.S. companies. 

Canada is investing in its renewable energy sector and advancing a Small Modula Reactors (SMR) program for zero emissions, providing business opportunities for U.S. companies. The Government of Canada is committed to environmental protection through clean technologies and is targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. Canada is one of the world’s leading countries in using clean, zero emissions, renewable energy. Approximately 65 percent of the electricity generation is sourced from hydro, wind, solar, and other renewable sources. Another 15 percent is generated by a fleet of 19 large nuclear reactors, which are going through a life extension refurbishment program.

Hydro is the main source of energy from over 650 large and small power plants with a total installed capacity of over 80,846 MW, providing around 60 percent of electricity. In the Provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, 98 and 90 percent, respectively, of electricity generation is from hydro.

New projects with capacities from 500 MW to over 2,000 MW are in development or in planning. Other new renewables provide over 5 percent of electricity but are the most dynamic segment based on strong policies and support from all provincial governments. Wind energy is the main source in this segment with over 300 wind farms that provide a total over 13,400 MW and an average growth rate of 16 percent annually.

There are also new projects in progress and in planning. Solar photovoltaic (PV) power installed capacity, in many installations, is over 3,700 MW. Tidal waves, geothermal, biogas and biomass projects have government grants and are in research and evaluation stages and some are even operational. Canada Energy Regulator (CER) estimates that Canada’s future renewable energy capacity is expected to grow with wind capacity doubling and solar capacity more than tripling by 2040. For zero emission generation, in 2018 Canada launched the Canadian SMR Roadmap as a strategy shift from large nuclear reactors.

In Dec. 2020, the “SMR Action Plan” released by the federal ministry Natural Resources Canada, announced the implementation actions. The federal ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development named the SMR program as a key component to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation for developing SMRs, and the Alberta Government announced its intention to join it. Three projects are in progress: Darlington New Nuclear Project (DNNP) for a gridscale SMR and Chalk River Micro Reactor Project for an off grid reactor are in the pre-licensing review phase and are planned to start operation by the late 2020s. Point Lepreau SMR Project for a grid-scale SMR is evaluating vendors.

The Canadian market potential is significant. The renewable energy investments are estimated at several billion dollars annually and the Canadian SMR market potential, estimated by the SMR technology developers is $20 to $150 billion by 2050. The business opportunities range from large renewable energy equipment and complete SMR units to the balance of plant including electricity generation and transportation, thermal energy use, and/or energy storage equipment, systems, and components, depending on the site location needs.

The U.S. Commercial Service Canada is closely following the status and progress of the market and projects and is assisting U.S. companies with advocacy support and business to business contact information and facilitation for the Canadian supply chain.
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