Almost all the electricity Hydro‑Québec distributes to its customers is generated from renewable resources which means there are few or no greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hydro‑Québec publish different electricity-associated GHG emission rates.

Direct GHG Emission Rate

Annual data

The fact sheet entitled Label for electricity distributed in Québec to customers supplied by Hydro-Québec’s main power grid [PDF 265 Kb] gives GHG emissions rate directly associated with fossil fuel combustion for the generation of the electricity supplied by Hydro-Québec's main power grid. It also gives a breakdown of the primary energy sources comprising Québec’s electricity mix.

This fact sheet is helpful to companies wanting to :

  • produce a GHG emission inventory using ISO 14064-1:2019 or the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) and required to report electricity consumption GHG emissions. For such companies, electricity emissions are considered indirect emissions (scope 2).
  • quantify the emissions of a GHG reduction project according to the ISO-14064-2: 2019 standard for which emissions associated with electricity consumption must be accounted for.

Historical data

The fact sheet entitled GHG Emission Rate Associated with Residual Electricity Supplies, 1990-2023  [PDF 221 Kb] gives GHG emission rates since 1990.

This fact sheet is helpful for companies wanting to include historical emissions in their GHG inventory reporting.

Important information

  • Both fact sheets take into account electricity generated, purchased and distributed by Hydro-Québec from which renewable energy certificates sold to third parties have been withdrawn. The electricity from off-grid systems (generated mainly by thermal plants) is not included. The GHG emission rates listed are for generation of electricity only and are thus not based on a life cycle assessment.
  • GHG emissions generated by creating reservoirs used to produce electricity are not considered when calculating our direct emission rate since such emissions to be related to a land-use change.

Life Cycle GHG Emission Rate

Companies wishing to

  • perform a life-cycle assessment as described in ISO 14040:2006/ISO 14044:2006,
  • calculate the carbon footprint of a product as described in ISO 14067:2018 or
  • issue an environmental declaration for a product as described in ISO 14025:2006

must consider emissions generated in all stages in the life cycle of the product, including those where electricity is consumed. Such emissions are calculated at a rate of 34.5 g CO2 eq/kWh. This rate reflects the life cycle of electricity generated, transmitted and distributed by Hydro-Québec, including purchased and imported electricity. However, it does not reflect the life cycle of electricity from off-grid systems. For more information, consult the scientific article published on this subject

All environmental indicators associated with the electricity generated, transmitted and distributed by Hydro-Québec are included in the international ecoinvent database. These data may be obtained from the International Reference Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG) at Montréal’s École Polytechnique.