MONTRÉAL, May 9, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Hydro-Québec is proud to announce the publication of its Sustainability Report 2015, which highlights the utility's performance with regard to its main environmental, social, economic and governance issues. With 99.8% of its output generated from water, Hydro-Québec posted enviable results.
"One of the things that puts us in such a great position, as a global shift to renewable energy takes place with a view to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is the societal choice we made some fifty years ago to focus on clean, renewable hydropower. Today, more than 99% of the electricity generated by Hydro‐Québec is clean, renewable energy, which contributes to the quality of life of Quebecers. The benefits extend to our export markets, as well, and we're very proud of that," said Éric Martel, Hydro-Québec's President and Chief Executive Officer.
Highlights in 2015
Contribution to climate stability and environmental protection
Hydro-Québec is a known leader in hydropower, which causes very little pollution. The utility is also a major contributor to air quality in Québec and plays a key role in the Québec economy. The province's GHG emissions per capita are among the lowest in North America. The company has reduced its GHG emissions by 88% compared to 1990, the baseline year chosen by the Québec government for its reduction target. This is a significant contribution to the government's target of 37.5% by 2030.
In addition, thanks to its net exports of electricity, Hydro-Québec extends the benefits of using clean energy to the entire continent. Exports in 2015 avoided GHG emissions equivalent to those produced by 1.85 million cars in a year.
Since its introduction in 2003, the Energy Efficiency Plan (EEP) has saved 8.8 TWh, the consumption equivalent of 500,000 households.
Responsibility to our customers
Hydro-Québec endeavors to provide reliable, fast, attentive and competitively priced service. For example, this involves reducing the service restoration time after a planned or unscheduled outage. The system therefore needs to be properly maintained, updated and reinforced. The company completed the installation of 3.7 million next-generation meters throughout Québec, three years ahead of schedule. Improvements are already noticeable in terms of productivity, new services offered and distribution system management.
Hydro-Québec's residential rates are among the lowest in North America. They are half the rates charged in Toronto and one quarter of New York City's rates.
Social acceptability of projects and operations
Our projects and operations give us a presence throughout Québec. In 2015, we had over 1,000 active electricity generation and transmission projects. More than 30 years ago, we developed mechanisms for communicating with stakeholders. We endeavor to choose project variants with the least social, environmental, technical and economic impacts. In the past year, more than 100 projects have involved a public participation process.
Commitment to technological innovation and transportation electrification
In 2015, Hydro-Québec invested $130 million in R&D at its research institute. IREQ is a world leader in innovation in the fields of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage. Its scientists, technicians, engineers and specialists develop technological solutions to support the company's operations and open up new avenues for growth. IREQ has 1,035 patents. In 2015, Hydro-Québec contributed $7.9 million in funding to universities and research.
With 577 charging stations, including 29 fast-charge stations (400 V), installed in 16 of Québec's 17 administrative regions at the end of 2015, the Electric Circuit is Canada's first public charging network. It consists of 130 participating companies, institutions and municipalities that have purchased and installed charging stations.
In Québec, the value added by the electricity industry was estimated to be about $12 billion in 2015. Since Hydro-Québec accounts for over 90% of that industry, its share of the Québec economy is about 4% of the GDP. For generation and transmission projects, partnerships are created with communities and the company provides development funding. Hydro-Québec also helps to improve the environment and preserve and enhance Québec's natural heritage. The company's donations and sponsorships support organizations in all parts of Québec.
Hydro-Québec's contribution to the Québec economy was $6.2 billion in 2015. In addition to the $2,360 million dividend paid to the Québec government, the company contributed $2,827 million in goods and services procured from Québec-based companies, water royalties of $654 million, $37 million in municipal and school taxes and $27 million in community investments.
For further information: Mathieu Rouy, Public affairs and media, Hydro-Québec, 514 289-2311, [email protected]