A Picture of Electrical Energy Use in Canada

Energy is the fundamental driving force of all life and community infrastructure; it influences the ways we work, play and live and our future options for human well-being. The manner in which we develop and operate our energy systems is a critical first step in achieving sustainable communities and lifestyles. Many communities across Canada have implemented innovations that have resulted in considerable steps toward sustainable energy and electricity generation, such as T’Sou-ke First Nation’s Solar Community Program, Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC), District Energy Systems (e.g., Revelstoke and Prince George), and the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative (OREC). Canadians must also think of the bigger picture and consider our national energy development and consumption, in addition that of individual communities. We must ask – what has Canada relied on for energy and how will we continue to power this country?

The interactive visualization below was developed through the Community Research Connections (CRC) program and the Meeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3) project, and it explores the question above by specifically looking at Canada’s electrical energy production and consumption over the last 50 years. We invite you to enter this visualization and explore the last half-century of Canadian electrical energy use, looking at where our electricity has come from, how much we have produced, and what our levels of usage have been.

Click on the questions below to expand their respective sections and learn more.




To learn more about how data visualizations can serve as an integral component for disseminating and communicating research on climate change online, check out our article.

Newell, R., Dale, A., and Winters, C. (2016). A picture is worth a thousand data points: Exploring visualizations as tools for connecting the public to climate change research. Cogent Social Sciences, 2(1): 1201885