Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
The Canadian solar photovoltaic (PV) industry continues to grow. Installed capacity of solar PV stands at 16.8 MW, an increase of nearly 7 MW since 2002. Most PV capacity is in off-grid applications such as transport route signalling, navigational aids, isolated residential buildings, telecommunications, and remote sensing and monitoring, generally in remote areas of the country. Solar thermal capacity in 2004 was 385 TJ.
Government programmes to encourage market development of solar technologies include various ongoing projects under the TEAM (Technology Early Action Measures) Program, as well as subsidies offered under the Renewable Energy Deployment Initiative (REDI) program for the purchase of solar water and air heating systems.
Solar hot water and solar air heating systems used directly in industrial applications, and photovoltaic equipment with capacity of 3 kW or larger qualify for tax incentives with accelerated depreciation treatment.
In 2005, a Solar Buildings Research Network of 24 top Canadian researchers in solar energy and buildings from 10 Canadian universities was created to develop the solar-optimised homes and commercial buildings of the future. The initial budget of the Network is CDN$ 6 million, and approximately 40 research projects are under way. Major Canadian energy and construction industries are involved in most of the projects. The Network is a cornerstone of Canadian efforts to promote innovative research and development in solar energy utilisation.
The province of Ontario has recently introduced the Standards Offer Program, where small renewable energy projects are able to participate in electricity markets. Under this scheme, solar PV projects will receive CDN$ 0.42/kWh.