Your question is highly relevant. Electricity may be produced using various methods – hydropower, wind, solar, biomass and thermal (coal, oil, natural and nuclear gas) energy – with each of these presenting a specific environmental impact.
At Hydro-Québec, we produce 99% of our electricity from water and we do everything possible to control the impact of our projects and our activities on the environment. We are focused, among other things, on reducing atmospheric emissions, preserving the soil and water, protecting biodiversity and encouraging eco-friendly consumption.
A life cycle assessment analysis was recently published, in which we compared Québec hydropower with other power generating options. The life cycle analysis is a global method used to quantify the potential impacts related to the complete life cycle of a product, facility or procedure, from construction (of a dam or wind turbine, for example) to generation. The analysis revealed that the Québec hydropower sector has the lowest environmental impact, 50 times less, for example, than thermal generation using on natural gas. See also: life cycle assessment at Hydro-Québec.
For many years, we have been conducting impact studies on the environment in connection with our projects. We have developed an expertise in environmental matters, which is currently used to design our new projects. For example, to consult the environmental impact statement of the Romaine project currently under construction on the Côte-Nord, visit our Web site (in French only).
Each year, a follow-up of environmental activities is published (in French only).