Canadian electricity from wind energy. 2006 to 2015

Source   : The 2016 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. SaskPower 2010 and 2015 Annual Reports

Source: The 2016 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. SaskPower 2010 and 2015 Annual Reports


The chart shows the rapid growth of wind and, starting in 2009/2010, solar across Canada. Most of that growth has taken place in Eastern Canada with Ontario and Quebec leading followed by Alberta. The following chart shows installed wind capacity by province; 

Source   : Canadian Wind Energy Association

Source: Canadian Wind Energy Association


Although, and if one is looking for a measure of individual 'effort', the previous graph paints a misleading picture due to provincial population differences. Per capita installed wind capacity paints a very different picture. PEI, formerly in last place, takes a clear lead and Ontario, previously leading Canada, becomes distinctly average. Saskatchewan is well below the Canadian average and sits third last ahead of British Columbia and Newfoundland & Labrador.

Source : StatCan (population data), CanWEA (wind data).

Source: StatCan (population data), CanWEA (wind data).


Harper administration oversaw significant StatCan under-reporting of wind and solar  


We generally source country-level wind and solar data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy which itself obtains it from StatCan (Table 127-0007: Electric power generation, by class of electricity producer). Last year we noticed the BP data reported for Canadian wind did not seem to match that reported by individual provinces. Specifically:  StatCan 2014 data showed total Canadian wind generation of 11.3 terawatt hours (TWh)  .

However that was impossibly low relative to the data available from individual provinces. For instance:  Ontario and Alberta alone, with less than half of Canada’s wind capacity, reported total 2014 electricity generation from wind of more than 10 TWh.

It turns out StatCan was, under the previous Harper administration, significantly under-reporting electricity production  from wind energy: who would have thought? StatCan has, under the new Trudeau government, been able to address these deficiencies. The following chart shows both the old and new data: the discrepancy between the two is large. However anyone familiar with Harper's view on renewables will probably not be overly surprised.

Source   : 2016 BP Statistical Review of World Energy

Source: 2016 BP Statistical Review of World Energy


By way of explanation: the chart shows Canadian wind and solar generation for the period from 2006 to 2015. The left-hand column in each time period shows the StatCan data from the Harper Administration period - as a consequence it only runs to 2014. The right hand column shows the corrected StatCan data once Trudeau was in office.

In short: this correction meant that from 2014 to 2015 the amount of Canada's electricity from wind and solar more than doubled - from 2.0 to 4.3 percent of the total. Also of note is that under the Harper administration wind and solar generation topped out in 2012 at 1.9 percent and was largely flat thereafter. However the corrected data reveals both are in fact growing exponentially.