19. Sunny solar Alberta

Tags: Renewable Energy, Solar

Published November 7, 2012

Blog: Sunny days ahead for solar in Alberta

When you put the words ‘resource’ and ‘Alberta’ in the same sentence you’re usually talking about the kind of resources that get drilled, steamed or dug out of the ground. Oil and gas are king in Alberta but a new report from the Canadian Solar Industry Association or CanSIA says Alberta has the best solar resource in Canada.

However, when you start comparing Alberta to the largest global market for solar energy technology in the world, Germany, it's clear who's got the better solar resource. 

Here’s where you play the sad trombone. Sunny Alberta has 1.6 megawatts of installed solar capacity. Germany has around 30 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity. Thirty gigawatts equal 30,000 megawatts. This means Germany has 18,000 times more installed solar capacity than Alberta.

However, when you compare Calgary’s solar potential to Berlin’s it doesn’t even come close. The yearly photovoltaic potential in Calgary is 1292 kWh/kW. Berlin’s photovoltaic potential is 848 kWh/kW. (SourceThis means a one-kilowatt solar system in Calgary will produce 52 per cent more electricity than one in Berlin.

In fact, Calgary has more solar potential than both Rio de Janiero and Rome. And the numbers are even better for southern Alberta cities Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. More…

Podcast: Alberta's Solar Potential - The Best in Canada

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A new study confirms it. Alberta has the best solar potential in all of Canada. This news was anounced at the Solar West Symposium put on by the Canadian Solar Industry Asssociation and there was a buzz in the air at this well-attended event. We talk to solar industry veterans to get their take on Alberta's solar resource and how best to develop it.  We also talk to Alberta's minister of environment and sustainable resource development, Diana McQueen, the keynote speaker at the event about solar in Alberta. 

Quick Facts

Photovoltaic potential and solar resource maps of Canada

Photovoltaic municipal rankings in terms of yearly PV potential (for South-facing PV panels with latitude tilt)

Major Canadian cities and capitalsMajor cities worldwide
MunicipalityYearly PV potential (kWh/kW)
Regina (Saskatchewan) 1361
Calgary (Alberta) 1292
Winnipeg (Manitoba) 1277
Edmonton (Alberta) 1245
Ottawa (Ontario) 1198
Montréal (Québec) 1185
Toronto (Ontario) 1161
Fredericton (New Brunswick) 1145
Québec (Québec) 1134
Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) 1095
Yellowknife (Northwest Territories) 1094
Victoria (British Columbia) 1091
Halifax (Nova Scotia) 1074
Iqaluit (Nunavut) 1059
Vancouver (British Columbia) 1009
Whitehorse (Yukon) 960
St. John's (Newfoundland/Labrador) 933
CityYearly PV potential (kWh/kW)
Cairo, Egypt 1635
Capetown, South Africa 1538
New Delhi, India 1523
Los Angeles, U.S.A 1485
Mexico City, Mexico 1425
Regina, Saskatchewan 1361
Sydney, Australia 1343
Rome, Italy 1283
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1253
Ottawa, Canada 1198
Beijing, China 1148
Washington, D.C., U.S.A. 1133
Paris, France 938
St. John's, Newfoundland/Labrador 933
Tokyo, Japan 885
Berlin, Germany 848
Moscow, Russia 803
London, England 728

Alberta's Solar Potential - Pamphlet from CanSIA

Photovoltaic potential and solar resource maps of Canada - NRCan