Realizing Hydropower’s Value: WaterPower Canada Draws Roadmap for Policymakers

WaterPower Canada (WPC) has released a guidebook for policymakers to realize water-generated electricity’s full potential.

Ottawa, Ontario, August 10, 2023 – Canadian electricity policymakers and other electricity industry stakeholders will benefit from WPC’s latest white paper on the critical role that hydropower will play in Canada’s net-zero future. Hydropower’s Value to a Net-Zero Electricity Grid is a succinct, robust and informative report that highlights the essential grid services provided by hydropower and the importance of these services in ensuring system reliability.

The whitepaper explores technical concepts such as electricity system frequency and inertia, power ramping and net demand variability, voltage and reactive power, and grid ancillary services in accessible terms for non-technical readers.

As Canada’s electrical grid navigates the rapid transformation to net-zero carbon emissions, the current transmission networks will require expansion and development over wider areas to include variable renewable energy. Thanks to the existing dams and reservoirs that pond water across the country, hydropower stands out as a priority generator of electricity that is already essential to the grid. It will continue to be so with a greater level of importance in the future thanks to fast-responding power output, large capacities to store energy and emissions-free production.

“The capabilities provided by hydropower facilities, along with firm generation and long-term storage, will become even more important as operators add variable renewables to their grids,” said Gilbert Bennett, WPC Interim President. “As fossil-fuel generation is retired and variable renewables such as wind and solar generation come online, the consistency of hydropower will continue to be a critical element in maintaining power system reliability.”

Hydropower’s Value to a Net-Zero Electricity Grid also includes four detailed examples from across the country that capture the breadth and complexity of hydropower in action. These case studies include real-world applications in Western Canada, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada.

As the electrical grid continues to evolve, policymakers will need crucial resources like this report to ensure that essential grid services continue to be provided.

WaterPower Canada is grateful to Energy and Natural Resources Canada for providing funding for this study.


About WaterPower Canada (WPC)

Founded in 1998, WaterPower Canada is the national, not-for-profit trade association dedicated to representing the waterpower industry. Its many members span the breadth of the sector and include hydropower producers, manufacturers, developers, engineering firms and other organizations. WaterPower Canada members represent more than 95% of the waterpower installed capacity in Canada, advocating for the responsible development and use of waterpower to meet our present and future electricity needs in a sustainable manner.

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For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Rebecca Leikin, Director of Events
WaterPower Canada

National Conference2024 Canadian Waterpower Week

September 25-27, 2024 | The Westin Ottawa

This must attend event will bring together key decision makers, industry experts, policy and business influencers and offer opportunities to come together for an intensive, highly collaborative exploration of new technologies, best practices, and pressing issues, all to enable a collective change.

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