People say that Canada is too snowy for solar energy to work, or that it’s too cold for panels to operate. There are even remarks that it’s too gloomy in most parts of Canada. Despite those myths, the truth is that solar and wind power resources are remarkable and flexible.
Though Alberta and Saskatchewan are the leaders of the green transition in Canada, there is much potential in the whole nation to dismiss it. That is because varying regions have different capabilities.
Estimating its Potential
Various metrics are utilized to measure the potential advantage of using renewable resources from one province to another. Energy is typically measured in Joules or kilowatt-hours and power in kilowatts.
In Canada, the solar resource is generally provided per unit (e.g., kWh/m2). That is the value of solar irradiance. On the other hand, wind resources are usually quantified in m/s (meters per second) at a fixed height above ground.
Moreover, solar arrays and wind farm location is vital. A 1kW power system will likely generate more power in Egypt compared to northwestern territories over a specific timeframe. Therefore, the performance of solar panels will significantly depend on the location of installation.
In Canada, Saskatchewan and Southern Alberta are the sunniest locations. Therefore, they have the best solar potential. Quebec and Ontario also have superb solar potential.
Even with lesser potential, solar panels installed in British Columbia are still enough to produce electricity for its residents.
Below is a list of the sunniest locations in Canada along with their solar potential using the kWh/kW measurement:
- Burwash Landing in Yukon Territories – 1056
- Wabush in Newfoundland – 1074
- Amherst in Nova Scotia – 1125
- Fort Smith in Northwest Territories – 1126
- Miminegash in PEI – 1136
- Chesterfield Inlet in Nunavut – 1158
- Chatham in New Brunswick – 1168
- Quyon in Quebec – 1208
- Elkford in BC – 1236
- Rainy River in Ontario – 1265
- Waskada in Manitoba – 1370
- Wildhorse in Alberta – 1373
- Regway in Saskatchewan – 1384
Below are the major cities in Canada with the most sun exposure and solar potential using the kWh/kW measurement.
- St. John’s in Newfoundland – 933
- Whitehorse in Yukon Territory – 960
- Vancouver in BC – 1009
- Iqaluit in Nunavut – 1059
- Halifax in Nova Scotia – 1074
- Victoria in BC – 1091
- Yellowknife in NWT – 1094
- Charlottetown in PEI – 1095
- Quebec in Quebec – 1134
- Fredericton in New Brunswick – 1145
- Toronto in Ontario – 1161
- Montreal in Quebec – 1185
- Ottawa in Ontario – 1198
- Edmonton in Alberta – 1245
- Winnipeg in Manitoba – 1277
- Calgary in Alberta – 1292
- Regina in Saskatchewan – 1361