Canada’s Solar Outlook is Bright

No matter where one looks, it seems Canada is empowering the global solar sector. Ottawa’s Canadian Solar — the best-performing solar player of 2013, according to Bloomberg — just landed a $50 million loan to build a local solar farm, another win in its impressive ledger. A transatlantic player thanks to roots in China and its headquarters in Guelph, Canadian Solar is pretty close to a model citizen for what is turning out to be an inevitable renewable energy future.

Located in Ontario as well as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, Sustainable Development Technology Canada is looking to throw its well-connected hat, and wallet, into the ring. Its SD Tech Fund is inviting applications until April 16 for cleantech innovations. Since the Canadian government launched it in 2001, the public-private non-profit SDTC has reportedly funded 246 projects for $598 million and coaxed $1.6 billion from project partners for a book value of $2.2 billion.

But those projects are more heavily skewed toward biofuels, oil-sands remediation and the natural gas industries than the much, much cleaner sunshine sector. Although SDTC’s Morgan Solar has claimed “industry-leading energy yields” from its Sun Simba concentrated photovoltaic modules, its solar portfolio remains rather thin. So if anyone was ever going to knock out SDTC with a moving pitch for an astounding solar innovation, now would be the time to do it.

Like every other nation looking to upgrade its global energy profile, Canada will take what it can get — in search of much more. We’re all looking in the right direction, which is thankfully this century’s new climate abnormal and not last century’s comparatively stable life. But all of us have a way to go when is comes to plugging more time and money into solar, the cleanest of the cleantechs, no matter the marketing.

This article appeared at Solar Energy