Hydropower, O&M

Hydropower Lobbies for Greater Public Recognition

Consumers of hydroelectric power in Canada have among the lowest power rates in North America, according to the lobby group for Canada’s hydro industry.

OTTAWA, Ontario – “While Albertans have seen their residential electricity rates double on January 1, residents in Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, where hydropower represents more than 80 percent of the total electricity production, have been paying the same rates for several years now,” says Pierre Fortin, executive director of the Canadian Hydropower Association. Hydropower can respond almost immediately to fluctuating demands for electricity, and this reliability protects Canadians from the type of skyrocketing prices caused by increased demands that residents of California have experienced, he explains. More than 60 percent of electricity in Canada is generated from hydro dams. Hydropower plants have low operation and maintenance costs, and a long service life, which offsets the high initial investment cost. It also produces very few greenhouse gases and, by replacing emissions from fossil-fuel power plants, hydropower can help reduce air pollution and control global warming. The CHA release was issued in response to rising prices in natural gas, a significant fuel source in Canada. The associated was formed in 1998 to promote hydroelectric power as a source of renewable energy.