Solar energy in Canada

It is great to see the use of solar power gaining momentum in Canada in both the commercial and residential sectors. From the large installation of a photovoltaic system at Toronto’s Exhibition Place to the huge increase in smaller residential installations throughout Ontario over the past year, I hope that Canadians are finally seeing the benefits that solar, as well as other renewable energy technologies, can offer. 

Rob McMonagle, president of the Canadian Solar Industry Association, is right in saying that Canada is “running about 15 years behind other countries”. Hopefully we will take that as a challenge and respond accordingly. Although there are many factors involved with gauging how well solar energy do in a particular country, I think it should be a reassuring statistic that most populated areas in Canada – even places like Newfoundland which is often regarded as a not-so-sunny place – receive, on average, more solar energy per square meter than the traditional solar energy powerhouse nations of Germany and Japan. It is time we rethink the fundamentals of how we generate our energy – and thinking ‘solar’ is definitely a step in the right direction.