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Path to Net Zero

Hydropower Accelerates the Charge to Clean Energy

Sponsored by:
WaterPower Canada logo
Sponsored by:

Gilbert Bennett

President, WaterPower Canada

With fires and extreme weather events becoming more common, the effects of climate change are becoming clear to Canadians. More than ever, we must take aggressive action to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Our federal government has set ambitious net-zero emissions goals. One of the best ways to achieve this is to continue investing in renewable energy that is reliable and utilizes proven technology. On this score, waterpower is the winner.

All a hydro plant needs to operate is water, something Canada has in abundance. Wind and solar only produce when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. In Canada, waterpower already provides more than 60 per cent of our electricity supply, with tens of thousands of megawatts of potential.

Reliable and clean energy 

WaterPower Canada, the country’s waterpower industry association, is a leading advocate for responsible development and use of hydropower to meet our electricity needs in a sustainable manner. 

“Hydro generation is a natural complement to other renewable generation,” says Gilbert Bennett, President, WaterPower Canada. “But hydro has unique capabilities that other renewables don’t, and these capabilities are essential for delivering reliable service to customers.” 

With water in the reservoir, waterpower can be counted on to deliver reliable power, filling the gap when wind and solar cannot generate the power required by customers. During periods of low demand, hydro generation can reduce production and store energy for later use. Reservoir storage gives waterpower operators the ability to adjust production to meet customers’ needs and to accommodate variations in rain and snowfall from one year to the next. The storage capability available with hydropower is far greater than can be provided by batteries. 

Waterpower is the backstop for other renewables, and this capability will be more important in the future as utilities add more variable renewable generation to the grid.

Bennett adds that most Canadians understand the need to move to a renewable future, and successfully doing so means that we need to use all non-emitting technologies to get there. “Our path to net zero will be defined by a portfolio of generation alternatives based on reliability, economic, and environmental considerations. Wind and solar, nuclear, and of course, hydropower all have a role in getting us there,” he says. 

Hydropower will lead our path to net zero, learn more at


Here for the long run:
The oldest operating hydropower facility
in Canada was commissioned in
The lifetime of hydroelectric facilities can be extended indefinitely, so waterpower will be as much a part of Canada’s future as it has been of its past.
Canada is the
in the world
of Canada’s electricity is provided by waterpower


Hydroelectric resources are fast responding and flexible — allowing grid operators to reliably meet changing customer demands
Energy storage in hydropower reservoirs is Canada’s
big blue battery
which is essential to integrating increasing contributions from Canada’s abundant wind and solar energy
Canadian waterpower has one of the lowest
life cycle
gas emission
intensities of all
electricity sources.


Reliable power for consumers and industry
A blue battery
for variable
A stable and
secure source of power for Canada
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