The needs and concerns of society and our customers are evolving. As a result of climate change, all countries must significantly reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We must therefore turn to clean, renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This is known as the energy transition.

Québec has a precious resource for carrying out energy transition, given that 99% of our electricity is already generated from a clean and renewable source of natural energy: the power of moving water.

However, for the energy transition to be successful in Québec, we must optimize our energy consumption and significantly increase our use of clean, renewable energy for road transportation, heating of commercial and institutional buildings, and industrial production, which use GHG-producing fossil fuels.

We must carry out this energy transition while maintaining the robustness of our infrastructures and our economic resilience.

A VR tour of IREQ

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of IREQ,
the heart of innovation at Hydro-Québec.
IREQ is home to nearly 500 researchers, engineers and technicians who devote themselves to making our energy system more efficient and intelligent.
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Our technological vision for a successful energy transition

Our technological vision is the foundation of our innovative strength, bolstered by the work of Hydro-Québec’s research institute (IREQ).

The vision consists of three main orientations:

01. Innovation with our customers at the center of the transition

The transition toward a greener and more efficient power system means proposing value-added products and services while offering a reliable energy supply at competitive prices.

All of our products and services, whether intended for the residential, commercial or industrial sectors, must continue to address our customers’ concerns, meet their goals and fit seamlessly into their lifestyles.

These are just a few examples of what our products and services involve:

  • energy efficiency and simple consumption management through home and building automation
  • transportation electrification
  • addition and integration of solar power
  • energy storage (batteries) and heat storage
  • implementation of microgrids and industrial processes

02. Innovation to optimize our assets

We already have a solid basis for a successful energy transition:

  1. 01Over 99% of our energy is natural, clean and renewable thanks to our hydroelectric generating stations.
  2. 02Our vast reservoirs can serve as a battery for power systems in northeastern North America. They can also store energy naturally and release it when needed. This flexibility helps balance electricity generated from intermittent energy sources.
  3. 03We have developed an extensive electricity transmission and distribution system covering the entire territory, as well as interconnections with neighboring power systems.
  4. 04Our advanced telecommunications system improves our efficiency in equipment operation.

Reasons for continued innovation:

  • To improve our refurbishment and repair methods so we can maintain our infrastructure in good operating condition
  • To integrate predictive equipment maintenance technologies
  • To optimize asset management while taking financial, environmental and reliability risk factors into account

03. Innovation to create a smart, robust and flexible energy system

Innovation is essential so we can continue to draw full potential from data, calculation tools and remote automation, which will result in an integrated system that is smart, collaborative, dynamic and flexible.

As we innovate, we must reinvent ourselves as well. Our goal is to create a power system that knows the condition of all of its equipment and the needs of each customer in real time, allowing it to manage variations in production and demand. The most appropriate resources would therefore be deployed when needed.

The talented minds behind our innovations

To generate innovative and promising ideas, IREQ has brought together an extensive network of partners, university students and experienced collaborators.