Solar Resource Maps of Canada (and the US)

Source   : NRCan  PV Mapper

Source: NRCan PV Mapper

Maps for Canada are quite limited. The best Government map we are aware of is by NRCan which is quite dated. Wags will respond that the sun's output doesn't change too much from year to year: although, in response, purists will note that cloud cover does.

Nonetheless here it is. Click on the map itself to go to the NRCan page where you can select the map for each province as well as change other parameters such as units of measurement. 

Age aside: this small thumbnail alone makes it quite clear that Saskatchewan has the best solar resource in Canada with a clearly visible 'bubble' of high solar radiance protruding up from Montana and North Dakota.


For more detail: try the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) 'Global Atlas for Renewable Energy' which is a powerful tool allowing anyone to get an idea of renewable energy resources (wind, solar, hydro, bioenergy, geothermal and marine) anywhere in the world. Scroll through the maps at the bottom of the page to find the resource you want.  

The image on the left is a screen print of the IRENA solar map of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba plus the Northern US Prairies.

Solar Map of the US

..and if you want to check out where the Saskatchewan 'solar bubble' comes from - try this from NREL;

Source   : US National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Source: US National Renewable Energy Laboratory


When looking at this material one needs to be aware that solar panels operate better when it's cooler (electrical resistance rises as temperature increases - remember?!).

As a result the difference in output of solar panels in Saskatchewan, versus in New Mexico or Arizona, is not  as much as you might think. But that's a whole other story...