Quebec's greatest energy resource is its hydropower, which generated about 97 per cent of the province's electricity in 2011. Other sources of electricity include nuclear power, wind and thermal generation.
In 2010, Quebec exported 19.9 terawatt hours of electricity, worth about $891,000 to the United States. Energy-related imports included crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
Quebec is not involved in oil extraction; however, utilities accounted for about four per cent of its gross domestic product in 2010. Over the past few years, there has been active natural gas exploration and development, but there is no commercial production at present.
The government of Quebec received about $1.96 billion in dividends from Hydro-Québec in 2011.
Discover the key energy facts about Québec.
By the numbers (1MB PDF)
Hydrocarbon exploration in Quebec was triggered during the 1800s by the discovery of oil seeps in sedimentary outcrops in the St. Lawrence Lowlands; however, the resource couldn't be economically developed.
Recent advances in production technology for tight sands and gas shales have renewed interest in natural gas from the Utica Shale in southern Quebec and northern New York.
In Quebec, the most prospective areas are the St. Lawrence lowlands between Montreal and Quebec City, and on Gaspé Peninsula.
The best estimate of recoverable resource potential is 18 trillion cubic feet; however, opposition to development has prompted the Québec government to halt further drilling pending an investigation into the environmental impact of reservoir fracturing.
Natural Gas Pipelines
The TransCanada Canadian Mainline delivers natural gas from the Alberta-Saskatchewan border east to the Québec-Vermont border and connects with other natural gas pipelines in Canada. In 2008, the Mainline transported an average 9.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
The Trans Quebec and Maritimes Pipeline connects to the TransCanada Mainline at Saint-Lazare, west of Montréal, and runs to East Hereford on the New Hampshire border where it connects to the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System.
The Enbridge System extends from Edmonton, Alberta to Gretna, Manitoba where it enters the United States, re-entering Canada near Sarnia, Ontario and continuing to Montreal, Quebec. Since October 1999, the section of pipeline from Montreal to Sarnia (Line 9) has operated in a fully-reversed-flow mode, transporting oil from east to west.
Trans-Northern Pipelines extends from Nanticoke, Ontario to Montréal, Québec and delivers refined petroleum products to major cities and airports in southern Ontario and western Quebec.
In October 2010, Shell Canada closed its Montreal East Refinery which refined approximately 130,000 barrels per day of crude oil into distillates, heavy oils, lubricating oils, waxes, bitumen and 7,500 cubic metres of gasoline.
Ultramar's Jean-Gaulin refinery in Levis, near Quebec City refines approximately 265,000 barrels of crude oil per day into gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, home heating oil, butane and #6 fuel oil. The Refinery employs approximately 490 individuals.
Suncor's Montreal Refinery, with a daily throughput of 130,000 barrels of crude oil, produces gasoline, distillates, asphalts, heavy fuel oil, petrochemicals, solvents and feedstock for lubricants.
Hydroelectricity provides about 97 per cent of Québec's electricity demand. In 2011, Hydro-Québec operated 60 hydroelectric generating stations with a total installed capacity of 34,490 megawatts, or about 91 per cent of Canada's total installed capacity for hydroelectricity.
The largest facility is the Robert-Bourassa Generating Station with an installed capacity of 5,616 megawatts.
Several independent power producers operate another 94 generating stations with total combined installed capacity of 3553.6 megawatts. Of these, only eight have installed capacities exceeding 100 megawatts and 67 have installed capacities less than 10 megawatts.
The next large hydropower project in Québec, Hydro-Québec's 1,550 Romaine Complex, is under construction. When complete, the facility will consist of four generating stations with combined annual generation of eight terawatt-hours.
Total generation from hydropower amounted to 191.3 terawatt-hours in 2011.
The hydroelectric generating stations marked on the map include all, Hydro-Québec hydroelectric generating stations and independently owned stations with installed capacities exceeding 100 megawatts.
Quebec currently has 16 wind farms with combined installed capacity of 1,061.5 megawatts. They are all located on the Gaspé Peninsula, and comprise 732 turbines.
The largest wind farm, the Jardind'Eole wind farm has an installed capacity of 127.5 megawatts.
Sixteen other wind farms with combined installed capacity of more than 2,100 megawatts are under construction or have a signed power purchase agreement The largest of these will have an installed capacity of 350 megawatts.
Quebec has one nuclear generating station, Gentilly-2, with a gross installed capacity of 675 megawatts. The station represents three per cent of Hydro Quebec's production and creates enough energy to meet the consumption needs of an estimated 270,000 residential customers.
Gentilly-2 is located near Bécancour, Québec, about 23 kilometres east of Trois-Rivières and began commercial generation in 1983. The facility is currently undergoing preliminary work in preparation for a $1.9 billion refurbishment that is expected to be initiated in 2012.
Gentilly-1, near Trois-Rivières in Québec, was a CANDU prototype, and as such, was never used for commercial purposes. The reactor was taken out of service in 1979.
Thermal Electricity Generation
Hydro-Québec operates one conventional oil-fired thermal generating station and three gas turbine generating stations with combined installed capacity of 1,512 megawatts or about four per cent of Quebec's total installed capacity.
The Tracy oil-fired generating station, with an installed capacity of 495 megawatts, is the largest of the four thermal generation stations.
The Bécancour, Cadillac and La Citière gas turbine generating stations are fuelled by natural gas.
Quebec also has 24 diesel-fuelled generators that supply electricity to off-grid locations.
Two independently operated natural gas fired generating facilities add another 581 megawatts of installed capacity.
Wood waste fuels six independent generating stations, which have a total combined installed capacity of 131.4 megawatts.
Thermal electricity facilities can generate power several different ways, including natural gas (represented by circles on the map), oil/diesel generation (squares), coal (triangles) and biomass (diamonds).
Québec has three ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 106.5 million litres per year and four biodiesel plants with a combined production capacity of 100 million litres per year.
Québec Energy Exports to the United States