Power industry jobs in Canada

Canada produces most of its electricity through hydroelectricity which accounts for around 63% of total power generation. Nuclear energy is the next largest producer of electricity at around 15% followed by coal at 13% and natural gas at 6%. Wind, fuel oil, wood and other sources such as petroleum coke make up the remaining power generation by utilities in Canada.

There are three power grids in Canada: the Eastern grid, Western grid, and the Québec grid. The electricity systems in Canada transfer power generated by different energy sources across the country, for example hydroelectricity from Churchill Falls in Labrador is transferred to Montreal. The electricity system takes coal and gas produced electricity from provinces such as Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan and hydroelectric from provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Québec, and Manitoba.

Renewables

Canada is the world’s third largest producer of hydroelectricity, with some regions in Canada producing the majority of their electricity from hydroelectric sources, including British Columbia which produces approximately 90% of its energy from hydropower. Canada’s prevalence in hydroelectricity is largely due its varied geography. More than one-third of the country’s hydroelectricity capacity is situated or flows into the Canadian Shield which is an area of rugged terrain and large river systems that stretch from the Great Lakes to the Artic, and from Hudson Bay to Labrador.

Nuclear

Canada’s electricity from nuclear energy, is generated by power stations in Ontario, and New Brunswick. All of Canada’s nuclear plants use a specific type of nuclear reactor known as the Canada Deuterium Uranium reactor (CANDU) which uses natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as a moderator.

Coal

More than 90% of Canada’s coal deposits are located in the western provinces of the country in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. Coal in Canada is commonly mined using two different methods strip mining, and open pit mining. Various coal types exist in Canada these are anthracite coal, bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal and lignite coal.

Oil and Gas

The majority of Canada’s natural gas is located in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Canada is a key producer and exporter of natural gas in the world. The majority of Canada’s oil comes from Alberta’s oil sands, the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, and the offshore oil fields in the Atlantic.

The electricity generated in Canada is distributed mostly via overhead wires with higher voltage lines supported by steel towers. Underground cables are also used, though mainly for crossing bodies of water and in urban areas.

Careers in the Canadian power industry

Job positions in the power industry can include:

  • Civil engineer jobs
  • Mechanical engineer jobs
  • Construction jobs
  • Electrical engineer jobs
  • Structural engineer jobs
  • Process engineer jobs
  • Health, Safety & Environmental jobs

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