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Solar Energy in Canada: A Primer on Legal and Business Issues

March 2012
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Edited by Thomas Timmins


Global solar capacity grew to almost 35 GW in 2010, representing remarkable growth of 139 per cent over the previous year. Europe still represents over 80 per cent of global capacity. The Asia Pacific region contributes to 11 per cent of global capacity. The U.S., though relatively slow to the market, already represents more than 5 per cent of global capacity.

In Canada, the story has just begun. With only 291 MW of total installed capacity, Canadian-built solar energy capacity is set to grow rapidly over 2012 to 2015. On both coasts, across the Prairies, in the Great Lakes region, in Québec and in all of the Maritime provinces, vast new solar energy projects are being planned or built.

Replete with some of the world’s best untapped solar project location opportunities, progressive solar energy policies, stable economic and political outlooks, and well-suited capital markets, Canada will attract a substantial share of the $1 trillion expected to be invested in solar energy over the next decade.

Indeed, since the initial introduction of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program in 2009, Canada has become one of the world’s most important jurisdictions for solar development.

Investors, inventors, service providers, utilities, developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from around the world are now looking closely at Ontario’s FIT program. By waiting to assess changes in price and policy stability after the current FIT Review Process, they can determine future opportunities for investment in the province.

At the same time, across Canada’s other provinces, policy analysts, regulators and clean energy professionals are watching Ontario’s energy sector with keen interest to determine future directions for their local jurisdictions, helping them to respond to and, hopefully, improve upon Ontario’s FIT.

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP is pleased to contribute to the development  of renewable energy resources in several key international markets. As such, we are delighted to present Solar Energy in Canada: A Primer on Legal and Business Issues.

We congratulate you on your decision to enter the Canadian solar energy market and hope that this guide, and the many other resources made available by our firm in Canada and in London, Moscow and Beijing, will assist you in your work.

 Download the guide - Solar Energy in Canada: A Primer on Legal and Business Issues

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