2022 Solar Statistics in Canada 0

Canada has taken noteworthy steps towards environmental conservation with its solar energy initiative. The initiative, aimed at promoting the adoption of renewable energy, has witnessed significant investment from the Canadian government, private companies, and industries. Notably, the cannabis cultivation sector is one of the industries that have embraced this renewable energy source.

Homegrown Cannabis Co., a leading seed bank in Canada, now enables indoor cannabis cultivation using solar power. Photovoltaic energy, the technology behind this solar initiative, uses solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity.

The adoption of photovoltaic energy in Canada has grown significantly, with various regions recording an increase in solar power installation. This progress can be attributed to factors such as the declining cost of solar panels, government incentives, and favorable policies. As a result, the country is now among the world’s leading producers of solar energy.

In this article, we explore the concept of photovoltaic energy, its significance in today’s world, and how Canada has emerged as a key player in this field.

What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is a renewable and sustainable energy source that uses sunlight to generate electricity. It is an abundant and widely available source of energy that has the potential to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels.

One of the fascinating aspects of solar energy is its ability to produce power even on cloudy days, making it a reliable and consistent energy source. In addition, solar energy provides a clean and safe alternative to fossil fuels, which produce harmful emissions that contribute to air pollution and climate change.

By harnessing solar energy, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate the negative impact of greenhouse gas emissions. This has significant benefits for the environment and our health, as air pollution can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.

How is Renewable Energy from the Sun Created?

Solar energy is generated from two main sources: solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP). These systems can be used to create heat, electricity, lighting, cooling, and more.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology uses direct sunlight to produce electricity. This is achieved through the use of solar cells, which are electronic devices that convert sunlight into electricity. These cells are connected to form solar panels, which can be installed as DIY kits or by specialists on rooftops. When several panels are connected, they form arrays that are connected to an electrical grid, forming a PV system.

On the other hand, concentrated solar power (CSP) technology uses mirrors to focus sunlight onto a thermal receiver, which absorbs the heat. The heat is then used to create steam, which drives a turbine to generate electricity.

Both solar PV and CSP are becoming increasingly popular as they are renewable and produce clean energy. Solar PV can be used on a small scale, such as for individual homes, or on a large scale, such as for solar farms. CSP is often used on a large scale and is commonly found in solar power plants.

The use of solar energy has many benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on non-renewable energy sources. Additionally, solar energy has become more affordable and accessible over time, leading to an increase in adoption and innovation in this field.

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The Solar Energy Market in Canada in 2022

Canada has been steadily increasing its presence in the renewable energy market, particularly in solar energy. According to the 2022 Canadian Solar Report by the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA), the solar energy industry has seen significant growth in recent years. The report indicates that Canada’s solar energy capacity grew by over 4 GW, representing a 25.9% increase in capacity in 2022 alone.

In addition to solar, Canada has also been making strides in the wind energy market, with a capacity increase of 15 GW. These positive developments indicate that Canada is moving towards a greener energy future, with a focus on clean and sustainable energy sources.

The report also highlights the importance of government support and investment in the renewable energy sector, as well as the role of private companies in driving growth and innovation. With the continued advancement and affordability of solar technology, it is expected that Canada’s solar energy market will continue to grow in the coming years, providing new job opportunities and contributing to a more sustainable future.

Leading Solar Energy Cities in 2022

Canada is home to many cities with vast potential for solar energy. Some of the leading provinces in this regard are located in Western Canada, with Alberta and Saskatchewan at the forefront of solar energy capacity. Additionally, Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia are following closely behind.

The Western part of Canada is considerably sunnier than other parts of the country, making it an ideal region for solar energy development. In 2022, the solar energy growth in these provinces was significant, with the following MW capacity:

  • Alberta: 1,391 MW
  • Saskatchewan: 387 MW
  • Quebec: 24 MW
  • Ontario: 10 MW
  • Nova Scotia: 2 MW

These numbers showcase the growth potential of solar energy in Canada, particularly in Western provinces with ample sunlight.

The following graph reflects these provinces’ growth:

Alberta:

The province of Alberta has a unique structure in the power industry and has become a leader in renewable energy development. It is a deregulated sector that has become competitive, attracting investors and off-takers. Alberta is also becoming a sought-after region for geothermal energy investment. Many renewable energy projects are assisting the government, companies, and organizations in providing renewable energy and reducing their carbon footprint.

Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan is another region where residents can save on electricity bills, as the amount of sunlight it receives is ideal for harvesting energy. It is one of the fastest ways of reducing the carbon footprint, and not only is it a reliable source of energy, but it is also very cost-effective.

Quebec:

Quebec generates 94% of its electricity from a hydro plant located in northern Quebec, but it has generated some power from solar solutions as well. Although hydro is a primary energy source, it threatens the ecosystems, making PV power a better option.

Ontario:

Ontario’s solar installation for 2022 powers almost 517,000 homes. Although Ontario is not one of the top-ranked areas for sunlight exposure throughout the year, the rays it receives are sufficient to warrant geothermal panel installation.

Nova Scotia:

Nova Scotia has one of the best solar rebate programs in the country, and although the wind is a significant source of renewable energy, photovoltaics are also increasing significantly. The increase in PV power is resulting in savings for both businesses and residents.

Overall, Western Canada, specifically Alberta, and Saskatchewan, are the leaders in solar energy potential due to their sunny climate. Other provinces, such as Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, are also investing in solar energy to reduce their carbon footprint and increase cost savings.

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Canada’s Annual Growth Statistics 

In 2022, a large portion of solar installations in Canada occurred in Alberta, accounting for 90% of the total. Ontario also had a significant increase in renewable energy, with photovoltaic (PV) installations powering many homes. The addition of sustainable power in 2022 represented over a quarter of the current capacity, and it has contributed extensively to job creation.

The increase in renewable energy in Canada has resulted in significant employment growth, with both solar and wind contributing to an 86% increase in employment during 2022. This employment growth is due to the development of new infrastructure, maintenance of existing facilities, and the need for personnel for day-to-day operations.

Despite the progress made, Canada still has many opportunities to grow the renewable energy industry even further. The government and private sector can explore various initiatives to expand the use of solar energy, which could lead to more job creation and a greener economy.

Have a look at the steady growth depicted below:

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Solar Incentives in Canada

In Canada, there are various incentives offered to encourage the installation and use of solar energy. Some of these incentives include:

  1. Federal Tax Credits: The federal government offers tax credits for homeowners and businesses that invest in renewable energy systems, including solar power.
  2. Provincial Rebates: Many provinces in Canada offer rebates or financial incentives to homeowners and businesses that install solar panels. Some of these include:
    1. Ontario: The Save on Energy program provides rebates to eligible homeowners for the purchase and installation of energy-efficient products, including solar panels.
    2. British Columbia: The CleanBC program offers rebates for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
    3. Quebec: The Chauffez vert program provides financial assistance to homeowners who purchase and install eligible solar heating systems.
  3. Net Metering: Net metering allows homeowners and businesses with solar panels to sell excess electricity back to the grid, which can help offset the cost of the system.
  4. Green Bonds: The federal government offers Green Bonds to Canadians who want to invest in projects that support a clean environment, including renewable energy projects.
  5. Municipal Incentives: Some municipalities in Canada offer incentives for homeowners and businesses to install solar panels, including property tax rebates and low-interest loans.

Overall, these incentives aim to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for Canadians, while also promoting the transition to a more sustainable energy future.

Incentives in various provinces

The Canadian provinces offer a variety of incentive programs to encourage the use of renewable energy sources. However, the following information was accurate at the end of 2022 and may have changed since then due to the industry’s constant development.

Alberta

Alberta has several programs to motivate residents to adopt renewable energy sources. One of these programs is net metering, a billing process that credits owners for adding electricity to the power grid. Alberta also has the Municipal Program, where municipalities can apply for a rebate on installed PVs, allowing them to save up to 30%. Some individual towns have reward systems for both residential and business.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has one of the best solar rebate programs in Canada, and their net-metering program allows systems up to 100 kW. Residents receive a credit on their bill for excess energy production, which they can use within a year. If any surplus remains, they receive a cash refund. Nova Scotia also offers the SolarHomes Rebate, which covers almost 25% of the cost.

Ontario

Ontario has a similar net-metering system to Alberta, where consumers receive a credit on energy costs if they donate their surplus electricity to the distribution system. Any remaining credit expires within a year, and the balance is reset to zero.

Quebec

Quebec’s net-metering system allows renewable energy generation for up to 20 kW for single-phase and 50 kW for three-phase systems. Excess energy is kept as credit and used when regenerating falls short. The credits expire after two years.

Saskatchewan

Although Saskatchewan is one of the sunniest places in Canada, its incentive program is not very extensive. Their only incentive is net-metering, allowing residents to generate their own power through renewable technology and apply for facilities that generate up to 100 kW. Any surplus is converted to credit and kept for future accounts, with no expiration date.

In Closing

In conclusion, Canada’s solar energy industry has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by various initiatives and programs in different provinces. The country has the potential to achieve even more by accessing the available opportunities.

The impressive growth witnessed in the past year has been projected to continue with an expected boost of 2 GW between 2023 and 2025, according to CanREA. However, Canada may not achieve its target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 without further action.

The industry stakeholders are already gearing up for the challenge, and more efforts are needed to increase solar energy uptake across the country. With a more significant adoption of renewable energy, Canada can reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and move closer to achieving a more sustainable future.

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