Solar Photovoltaics in Canada and Quebec Energy Mix – Analysis and Outlook

Solar photovoltaics is sparking growing interest throughout the world, and Quebec is no exception. With various programs in place, Canada and Quebec offer interesting pathways to achieving a successful energy transition and a low-carbon economy.

This study represents the first in-depth look at the potential of solar photovoltaics (PV) and its role in the Quebec energy mix. The report highlights both successes and failures observed in Quebec, Canada, and elsewhere in the world in order to formulate recommendations on how best to go about integrating solar PV in Quebec while taking into consideration the specific characteristics of the province.

This reference work will notably help structure the solar PV sector in Quebec in addition to developing a market and value chain. The study is intended for political and regulatory decision-makers, the solar PV industry as well as the research community and potential users of solar technologies.


  • In 2019, cumulative installed capacity of solar photovoltaics (PV) was approximately 578 GW and represented roughly 23% of global renewable energy production.
  • Worldwide, PV technologies have come down in price significantly, with cost reductions in the order of 85% over the past 10 years.
  • In Canada, cumulative installed capacity of grid-connected PV systems was an estimated 3.3 GW as of the end of 2019. Ontario accounts for 94% of PV solar installations in Canada with an installed capacity of 3.14 GW.
  • With just 6.25 MW of solar power installed as of 2019, i.e. less than 1% of the province’s energy portfolio, Quebec ranks seventh in Canada in terms of installed capacity. However, Quebec is poised to more than double this capacity in 2021 when Hydro-Québec commissions two solar facilities totalling 9.5 MW in La Prairie and Varennes.
  • Quebec enjoys a strong solar potential that currently remains unharnessed.
    In light of forecasts for growing energy demand in the province over the course of the next decade, it would be wise to add solar PV to our current energy mix much more ambitiously to help satisfy this demand.