Canada is certainly not the first country that comes to mind when the question of solar energy arises and yet with her wide open spaces and largely unrestricted sunshine the potential is staggering.
The Canadian provinces and solar are a great fit but Canada has barely begun to utilize her carbon free resources.
Still mostly a vast wilderness, hundreds of kilometers can separate you and the nearest power pole. Solar power is often the less expensive choice when faced with the expense of bringing grid power to a remote location.
Our position in relation to the sun isn't ideal compared to Mexico or southern USA. During Canadian summer months, days are long and sun drenched providing ample energy to run a household on nothing but solar.
Winter is a different story with short days and long cold nights, a combination that will stress a photovoltaic system with a greater need for power during the long nights while the short days provide minimal collecting ability.
It is possible to live completely off the grid in Canada using nothing but solar but in some cases (in the far north for instance) supplementing your solar array with wind, geothermal, hydro turbines and or a generator is often less expensive and more reliable.
Angling panels appropriately and adding a few panels to an array will compensate for the angle of the sun.
Because space and water heating use huge amounts of power, adding a wood stove or natural gas fireplace and a solar water heater will also reduce the load on your photovoltaic system and keep costs down.
Expense can be further reduced by incorporating as many passive solar principles as possible in your home.
With the newer thin film photovoltaic technology that is more efficient, easier and less expensive to produce and collects spectrum's of light yet unharvested, solar will be more available, more affordable and more viable in far northern and southern latitudes.
Canada has a growing number of solar powered households, cottages and businesses as well as serious infrastructure projects such as municipal water distribution systems, traffic lights and navigational markers.
When assessing countries that can benefit from solar power Canada is right up there in sprite of it's Northern position on the globe. Even in some relatively rainy areas like the Gulf Islands many households are enjoying an off that grid that includes solar power.
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