Solar Thermal

Canadian Solar Industry Association

Canadian Solar Thermal Market: 

This page presents an overview of Canadian Solar Thermal market activity from 2000 to 2011, a forecast to 2025.

A series of reports that document the Canadian Solar Thermal Market on a year-per-year basis can also be found at the foot of this page. (2010 can be found here.)

2000 to 2007: Steady Activity, Continuous Growth

During the period 2000 to 2007:

  • The Canadian market for Solar Thermal grew at an average annual rate of 16% with each year displaying growth consecutively.
  • The total cumulative installed capacity of operating Solar Thermal systems increased two-fold from 247 MW at the beginning of 2000 to 513 MW at the end of 2007 (228,000 to 544,000 m2).

During this period, the market was continuously dominated by liquid solar collectors:

  • Solar Thermal liquid collectors were almost a constant 70% of total annual market activity by collector area with Solar Thermal air collectors representing 30%. 
  • Within the liquid collector category, unglazed collectors annually represented an average of 96% between 2000 and 2004 and 13% between 2005 and 2007 (by MW) with glazed collectors comprising the remainder.

Market milestones achieved during this period included:

  • In 2007, Canada first community heated by solar thermal energy begun operation in Okotoks, Alberta.  Drake Landing Solar Community consists of 52 homes heated by 800 liquid solar collectors with borehole thermal storage to conserve solar energy for use in Winter.

2008 to 2011: Significant Activity, Rapid Growth

During the period 2008 to 2011, the introduction of the Government of Canada ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat programs and a number of complimentary programs at the provincial level, kick-started Canada’s Solar Thermal Industry:

  • Average market activity grew annually by an estimated 40 – 50% by collector area.
  • Market activity for Solar Thermal Air surged from an average of over 30 MW per year between 2000 to 2007 to an estimated 120 MW per year between 2008 to 2011 comprising almost 50% of the market in 2010 and potentially surpassing liquid in 2011.

Market milestones achieved during this period included:

  • In 2010, Canada surpassed 1,000,000 m2 of cumulative Solar Thermal systems in operation.
  • By the end of 2011, Canada will have surpassed 1 GW (1,000 MW in operation).

2000 to 2011: Summary

Canadian Solar Thermal Market Activity, 2000-2011

Between 2000 and 2011, the Canadian Solar Thermal market expanded significantly largely spurred by incentives designed to develop industry capacity and achieve Greenhouse Gas emission reductions.  In that decade, the Canadian Solar Thermal industry has excelled and today Canadian Solar Thermal products and companies compete globally.

 2011 to 2025: Established to Mainstream

During the period 2011 to 2025, CanSIA forecasts that the Canadian Solar Thermal market will continue to experience steady growth increasing from up to 400,000 m2 per year up to 2015 to up to:

  • 500,000 m2 per year up to 2020.
  • 700,000 m2 per year up to 2025.

Canadian Solar Thermal Market Activity, 2011-2025

The transition from incentive programs present up to 2011 to new policy mechanisms under consideration and development will largely define the period to 2015.

As industry momentum is re-focused toward this period and as technological advancements and new applications for Solar Thermal technology reach maturation (including space heating and cooling and industrial processes), it is expected that Solar Thermal technology will continue to attain a growing share of Canada’s heating and cooling technology market until the point that it is a mainstream choice for residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

Annual Grid Canadian Solar Thermal Liquid and Air Market 2000 to 2011

Annual Grid Canadian Solar Thermal Liquid and Air Market 2000 to 2011


Each year since 2003, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) have released a report outlining a survey of the status and development of the Canadian Solar Thermal Market and Industry.  These reports are prepared with funding provided by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

Past reports are provided below:

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30 years in biz

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