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

Cities in Saskatchewan have the highest solar potential in Canada, according to new analysis from the National Energy Board. Although all provinces and municipalities have solar PV potential, the extent of their potential varies widely.

On average, municipalities in Saskatchewan are exposed to the greatest amount of sunlight, followed by those in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. It’s measured by dual-axis solar tracking technology (kW.h/m²)

solar potential

Canadian cities with solar potential Photo: National Energy Board

Exposure to the sun’s rays is affected primarily by climate, latitude, and elevation. Potential sunlight is only one factor that determines solar PV potential. Snow cover can have a large effect on solar potential.

If panels are covered by snow, solar absorption will be limited. However, snow also reflects sunlight. This means that solar panels can also get reflected sunlight when surrounded by snow.

Canadian solar power generation in 2016 was almost 30 times that of solar power generation in 2010. Based on the current economic outlook, Canadian solar generation is expected to almost triple from 3.6 TW.h in 2016 to almost 13.0 TW.h by 2040.

Over 98% of Canada’s solar power generation capacity is currently located in Ontario, which has offered incentives for renewable-energy projects. However, significantly decreasing solar PV module costs have made solar much more competitive.

With lower costs and some proposed renewable-portfolio standards, it is expected that more generation will be installed in more locations throughout Canada, particularly those with high PV potential