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Quebec’s Energy Future

We need to focus on collective energy sobriety and energy efficiency

The context

The demand for renewable energy is constantly increasing. In Quebec, we need to make ecologically responsible choices to make better use of our limited hydroelectric resources. We need to make smart planning decisions around the development of various renewable energy sources.

  • 54% of the energy consumed in Quebec in 2019 was still produced from fossil fuels. To decarbonize Quebec's buildings, vehicles and industries and transition this use of fossil fuels to electricity, we will need an additional one-half Hydro-Québec (in other words, at least 100 TWh) by 2050, according to government estimates.

  • The current surplus of hydroelectricity will soon be gone and will therefore not be enough to ensure the transition of all sectors, nor to Quebec's energy self-sufficiency. We need to reflect on current and future consumption and what choices can be made to limit the use of resources.

  • The Quebec government is looking to increase hydroelectric production in order to attract industry, but the future of our energy cannot be thought of solely in terms of economic development.

The issues

  • Quebec does not have an energy strategy that will allow us to quickly move away from fossil fuels and meet our climate targets by 2050.

  • Increasing electricity production, regardless of the type of energy (e.g. hydro, solar or wind), has socio-environmental impacts.

  • Electrifying all areas of our economy by building new hydroelectric plants with dams cannot be the only solution. We must also rethink the way Quebecers consume energy.

We must prioritize revising the way we consume energy.

The opportunity

The government's public consultation on Quebec's energy future (Consultation sur l'encadrement et le développement des énergies propres au Québec), which was held online from June 2 to August 1, is now closed.

Thank you to all those who took part in the consultation in order to share their priorities with the government - to let them know that we want our energy future to be carbon neutral, equitable and respectful of the environment.

Stay tuned for the next steps! The government will table a bill in the fall.

Our impact

  • 4,000 Nearly 4,000 messages sent to the consultation through our website
  • 4 4 online sessions were held to help citizens complete the official consultation form
  • 200 More than 200 consultation forms were completed through these sessions
  • 450 Over 450 participants at our 12-city tour of Quebec to discuss our energy future and watch the documentary "Après la Romaine"

Our vision

Quebec is at a crossroads for the energy transition. To move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible, we must go much further than simply replacing them with hydroelectricity (for which current surpluses won’t last much longer).

Rather than opting for the easy (though ill-adapted to today's reality) solution of building new hydroelectric infrastructure, Équiterre is proposing a paradigm shift.

To achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, there will need to be a focus on collective energy sobriety and energy efficiency in all areas of society, to encourage the emergence of:

  • more active, collective and shared mobility;
  • more sustainable land use planning;
  • more energy-efficient buildings;
  • a more circular economy;
  • a more local, environmentally responsible and healthier food system.

A successful energy transition will also reduce social inequalities, protect the environment and ensure that electricity remains affordable to all Quebecers.

Our government recommendations

Équiterre is calling on the government to implement this vision of a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable Quebec, truly in control of its energy.

As part of the Consultation sur l'encadrement et le développement des énergies propres au Québec, Équiterre submitted proposals that could be implemented in every sector of society.

To learn more about these proposals

 The impressive mobilization of citizens, in the middle of summer, sends a strong message to the government as it is about to make important decisions for our collective future. We are very proud of these results. 

Marie-Eve Bélanger-Southey

Mobilization Manager, Équiterre




End of the government's public consultation on Quebec's energy future.


Équiterre offered webinars to help citizens fill out the official consultation form.

Équiterre also submitted its brief to the consultation


Public consultation begins 

The government opened its online consultation on Quebec's energy future to citizens from June 2 to August 1.

Participation in the consultation: mobilizing citizens and experts 

Équiterre encouraged Quebecers to take part in the consultation and make their voices heard by sending a pre-written email.

Start of the mobilization tour across Quebec! 

Équiterre toured Quebec to screen the film "Après La Romaine" and held public discussions about Quebec's energy's future.


Education and mobilization on the energy transition

Équiterre held a webinar to present the key principles of our vision of a carbon-neutral, equitable and environmentally-responsible energy future for Quebec. Watch the webinar.

We encouraged our supporters to reach out to their Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) to share these key principles.


Denying out demands and those of over 100 environmental and citizens' groups, the government did not agree to mandate the BAPE for its consultation on Quebec's energy future. On April 26, the government announced that it would consult experts and the public, however, the format of the consultation left much to be desired. Read our joint reaction.


We worked to clarify the truth about our energy needs and capacities in Quebec and to bust some myths. Read our article.

In collaboration with the G15+, we reminded the government of the importance of holding a BAPE-led consultation. Read our press release.


Along with 100 other groups, we reiterated our request to the government to mandate the BAPE (Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement) to hold a generic consultation on Quebec's energy future. Have a look at our press release and joint letter.


Following our petition, we began to talk publicly about how Quebec's energy future is on the verge of a structural overhaul, in order to make people aware of the issues and the consequences. Read our open letter.

We launched a petition asking for a generic consultation by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) that was signed by 11,000 people.



In November 2022, the Premier stated the intention to invite Quebecers to a "real societal debate" on our energy, and announced the possibility of a public consultation on Quebec's energy future in the spring. The consultation would be led by the Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon.

Frequently asked questions