The potential for solar energy in Canada’s Ontario province, already being seen via one of the largest solar farms in North America, could very well be huge, according to two studies conducted by the Queen’s University Applied Sustainability Research Group. This group, headed by Queen’s mechanical engineering professor Joshua Pearce, is said to be the first to explore the region’s solar energy potential.
What’s most interesting from the research done by Pearce’s team is that Ontario is that solar power potential in this region collectively “has the potential to produce almost the same amount of power as all the nuclear reactors in the United States.” That, according to Pearce, is about 95 gigawatts of potential power, if one sees “choice roof tops in southeastern Ontario covered with solar panels” as well as land with “little economic value – barren, rocky, non-farmable areas near electrical grids.”
“To put this in perspective,” said professor Pearce, “all the coal plants in all of Ontario produce just over six gigawatts. The sun doesn’t always shine, so if you couple solar power with other renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro and biomass, southeastern Ontario could easily cover its own energy needs.”