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Canadian PV market expected to install 3.48GW by 2018

Toronto research firm ClearSky Advisors has published its Canadian Solar PV Sector Market Forecast for 2014 to 2018, which predicts that installed solar capacity in Canada will have reached 3.48GW by the end of that period.

The average rate of installations predicted by ClearSky is 450MW annually during the forecast period. The study was conducted by ClearSky’s Canadian PV Markets and Policy Intelligence Service.

Ontario is at present the largest domestic market for Canadian solar power providers, due to the province’s feed-in-tariff, aimed at hitting capacity targets of 200MW a year over the next four years. As the only Canadian province to have utility scale on-grid solar farms, Ontario also has in place a recently established competitive bidding system for utility scale PV energy generation, which is expected to continue to foster a competitive marketplace. The province so far has large-scale solar plants with an installed capacity of 388MW across 14 facilities.

Module manufacturer Canadian Solar earlier this month completed and sold a 10MW solar farm in the province, expected to be the first of nine large scale projects for the firm.

However ClearSky’s report also states that within the five-year period the market for solar power in Ontario will level off. The report stressed the importance of the industry expanding beyond Ontario into other Canadian provinces for solar power generation to prosper. Canadian Solar is among the Canadian solar energy companies to have also established an overseas customer base.

According to the report, it will be crucial for solar power providers in Canada to look closely at predictions of installed PV capacity along with regional policy and electricity market structure when adjudging the feasibility of entering differing domestic markets.

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