A sure sign that wind, solar have gone mainstream

I was searching on Canadian Tire’s Web site tonight and realized that wind and solar products have gone mainstream. If you’re not Canadian and therefore not familiar with Canadian Tire, it should be said that this retail chain — a kind of Wal-Mart/Home Depot combo with a big automotive department — is about as Canadian as hockey and Tim Horton’s. And tonight I noticed that the store is Southwest Windpower small wind turbines (Whisper 100 and AirX 400W) and Sharp solar panels. Not only that, but the wind turbines are a featured item on the retailer’s Web site, which has a “Solar Power and Alternative Energy” section.

This is a big deal if you ask me. Canadian Tire wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t sense the demand, and given the chain’s popularity in non-urban markets I expect there are many rural and small town customers encouraged to see such a credible retailer enter the alternative energy market. Who’s next? Wal-Mart? Home Depot? I wouldn’t be surprised…

UPDATE: The Canadian Wind Energy Association released a report on May 31 “designed to facilitate the installation of small wind turbines across Canada.” As small wind becomes more popular, the association says businesses and homeowners are increasingly looking for guidance on how to install small turbines, while municipalities are looking for help when it comes to crafting bylaws.

2 thoughts on “A sure sign that wind, solar have gone mainstream”

  1. It’s rather unfortuante, though, that Canadian Tire is selling, for C$1000, a panel that can be bought for under US$700 at any PV retailer in the US. At today’s exchange rate, let’s see… Canadian Tire is clearly trying to make lots of money on the backs of early adopters, rather than developing the market and getting the volumes up…

  2. The problem with Canadian tire selling the Xantrex PowerHub is that the dummies at the stores don’t know anything about it.So, trying to get information is like asking questions to a rock. I even asked what batteries it uses…the Eliminatior batteries were sitting on the shelf beside the Powerhub and I asked if these were the batteries…He said ‘NO, it takes special batteries’.

    Also, you can add a second battery box but it seems to me that you can’t get it anywhere in Canada. I saw one place online …for 139.00$US and another for 180.00$US.

    The guy that sells it for 139 wouldn’t even answer my email asking if they ship to Canada.

    I’m getting the impression that these ‘Green” people who say they want to save the earth… so so full of BS they smell.

Comments are closed.