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    Solar energy: No grid, no problem


    Author: Siobhan McClelland, Canadian Geographic

    Publish Date: Oct 3, 2013   Last Update: Sep 21, 2018


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    Canada’s use of solar energy has increased in recent years, although it remains relatively small in terms of market penetration. Installed capacity for solar thermal power has seen annual compound growth rate of 13.8 per cent since 2004.

    In Canada, solar is mostly used to provide heat and electricity to individual homes, farms and business that are far away from the primary power grid.

    The most common method of converting solar energy into electricity is through photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that can be used, stored or added to the grid. PV cells are being installed at both the residential and commercial scale and some solar power plants cover many acres to produce electricity for thousands of homes.

    Over 98% of Canada’s solar power generation capacity is located in Ontario. 

    Demand for solar energy is increasing in developing countries, particularly those without power grids or sufficient infrastructure. Most of Canada’s solar resources are in southern Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies. The 80-megawatt Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant, among the largest operating solar panel facilities in the world at the time of commissioning, produces enough electricity to power 12,000 homes.



    OCT 3, 2013 | TRANSMISSION

    Solar energy: On and off the grid


    OCT 3, 2013 | PRODUCTION

    Solar energy: Capturing the Sun's power

    Ways of harnessing the sun’s energy include solar photovoltaic cells, active solar energy, passive solar energy and concentrating solar power systems.


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