July 12, 2021
Photons Canada news

Canada Solar Photovoltaic and current opportunities

In Canada, Photovoltaic (PV) technology has become a favored form of renewable energy technology due to a number of social and economic factors, including the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, deregulation, and the restructuring of electric power generating companies. The rapid growth in the deployment of photovoltaics in recent years indicates that the technology is quickly gaining ground in Canada.

CanmetENERGY carries out work to provide stakeholders with the necessary information to make informed decisions. The 1st mandate is to accelerate the deployment of solar power in Canada, while the 2nd aims at exploiting solar energy’s potential, both nationally and internationally. This includes the coordination of various research projects, participation in international committees on the establishment of photovoltaic standards and producing information that will support capacity-building in Canada. The aim is to generate knowledge and facilitate its communication to decision makers in Canada. CanmetENERGY is responsible for the scientific aspects of work on photovoltaic energy for Natural Resources Canada.

Projects include:

  • Integration of utility-scale photovoltaic applications within smart grids
  • Research and demonstration on low energy solar homes
  • Development of codes, certification, and installation standards for PV systems and components
  • Developing photovoltaic and solar resource maps for Canada and participating in international collaboration on solar PV electricity forecasting
  • Representing Canada in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems

Most research projects are carried out, on a cost-sharing basis, with industry, universities, research groups, quasi-public agencies, and other departments and governments. We participate in international committees on photovoltaics, participating in joint projects with industry, developing software to assist in feasibility studies, as well as developing information and training tools.

The Canadian industry is growing and shows great promise, conclusion drawn from a new report by the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA). The organization said that Canada’s wind, solar, and energy storage sectors ended 2020 in a strong position, with the industry ready to expand significantly in 2021.

Canada ended 2020 with a total wind capacity of 13,588 MW, a total solar capacity of roughly 3,000 MW, significant growth in energy storage, and a “positive forecast for 2021,” said Robert Hornung, president and CEO of CanREA.

Canada has installed at least 70 MW of solar PV capacity in 2020, along with an additional 166 MW of wind power. Wind and solar generation now meet 40% of electricity demand in Prince Edward Island and 18% in Nova Scotia, with the contribution approaching 10% in other Canadian provinces.

Much of this growth is attributable to significant cost reductions caused by technological advances.

These advances enabled by the Photovoltaic research done in universities all across the country. Canada currently has a total utility-scale energy storage capacity of more than 130 MW/250 MWh, with 10% coming online in 2020 alone.

With 240 MW of large-scale solar projects and 745 MW of wind projects currently under construction across Canada, CanREA anticipates significant expansion in the country’s non-hydro renewables industry over the next year, it expects close to 2 GW of wind and solar projects to be installed or begin construction in 2021.

Link: Solar Photovoltaic Energy (nrcan.gc.ca)

Link: Canada installed 70 MW of PV in 2020 – pv magazine International (pv-magazine.com) Jan 2021

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