Economic prospects

Since electricity accounts for almost 40% of all energy consumption in Québec, the development of electricity supply and electricity consumption play a key role in Québec’s economy.

The development of electricity supply, in other words the development of the electricity generating, transmission and distribution sector, mainly based on hydroelectricity and wind energy, is a driving force behind Québec’s economy. The sector accounts for total investments of $4 to $5 billion annually, and supports over 50 000 permanent jobs.

Under Québec’s Energy Strategy, the Government intends to

  • Resume and accelerate the pace of hydroelectric development through
    • a portfolio of major hydroelectric projects totalling 4 500 MW;
    • investments totalling $25 billion and the creation of 70 000 direct jobs over the next ten years;
  • Connect 4 000 MW of wind energy supply to the Hydro-Québec grid by
    • completing the current calls for bids involving
      • investments of $5 billion,
      • requirements concerning Québec and regional content,
    • issuing new calls for bids for regions and First Nations;
  • Increase exports.

The economic prospects of electricity consumption have two main aspects:

  • leverage for industrial development, created by low electricity rates;
  • growth in the energy efficiency industry.

The new focus on wind energy generation will lead to the development of a new industrial sector and create jobs and considerable economic benefits in the regions of Québec.

Québec has an important industrial sector, based on the large-scale use of electricity, that has emerged thanks to the availability of hydroelectricity, an abundant energy source with one of the lowest production costs in North America.

Energy availability continues to attract businesses working in the pulp and paper, steel making, metal smelting and refining, cement and chemical sectors. They produce roughly 16% of the added value and employ around 8% of the workforce in Québec’s industrial sector.

Energy efficiency is at the heart of Québec’s Energy Strategy, which sets targets and defines actions for all markets and forms of energy. Consumers will benefit from substantial annual savings, and the energy efficiency sector will be able to develop. For more details, see the Transition énergétique Ce lien s'ouvrira dans un nouvel fenêtre. website.