SOLAR IN CANADA
For the majority of Canada’s history, the country has used solar energy to power space heating, water heating, crops and lumber production. Government funded solar energy production took off in the country during the 1970’s, and since then efforts have been put forth in providing power 24 hours a day in communities across the country. In fact, the policies set forth thus far have set Canada on track to provide solar for 5% of the country’s energy supply by 2025.
The Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program, launched in Ontario in 2009, was one of the initiatives designed to accelerate Canada’s investments in solar and other renewable energies. This program has made Ontario a global leader in solar projects. Solar now provides almost 2% of Ontario’s total energy supply, and Ontario became home of one of the largest solar farms in the country during 2010. According to Paul Gipe from Renewable Energy World, the province is expected to reach 2,650 megawatts of solar by 2015. Additional policies have been enacted in Canada encouraging renewable energy and growth in the solar LED and LED lighting industry such as the Green Energy Act. Passed in 2009, this policy promotes renewable energy, green jobs and encourages environmentalism throughout the country.
SOLAR IN THE UNITED STATES
Solar energy was first recorded to be harnessed in the United States by H.E. Willsie and John Boyle in their application of a solar power water pump by using mirrors to generate a stream of water in 1904. Solar power has its roots in 7th Century B.C., and so its use was not new or revolutionary to the world, however this application marked an important stride in American solar development. Around the same time, Albert Einstein also published a paper of photoelectric effects alongside his theory of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for his theory in 1918, creating awareness about the new way to harness energy and power in the USA.
The next time solar saw popularity was just after WWII. During the war, the country endured a severe energy shortage. So in 1947, Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company published a contact list of the nation’s top Passive Solar architects to be contracted for both residential and commercial buildings. These architects were skilled at building sites that collected, preserved and distributed solar energy throughout the wintertime, and kept out solar energy and heat during the summer. It was around this time that the first commercial office building was registered in the National Historic Register as the world’s first solar heated office building to run on passive solar energy designed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Satellite solar panels also became utilized by NASA in order to power the first Orbiting Astronomical Observatory: an idea by Peter Glaser, American born scientist and aerospace engineer.
In 1973 the first photovoltaic powered home was build by the University of Delaware, and became a landmark for solar powered energy. Throughout the 70's, further strides were made by NASA and the US Department of Energy to integrate photovoltaic power in telecommunications and grain milling systems. The 80's and 90’s brought advancements in solar manufacturing technologies and facilities throughout the US. Watts became cheaper, smaller and more efficient. Organizations, consortiums and government agencies were constructed to incorporate energy efficiency. And in 1999, the tallest skyscraper in Times Square incorporated energy-efficient panels on its South and West facing sides to generate power to portions of the building.
Fast-forward to 2008; After decades of advancements in solar technology, this year saw the beginnings of the greatest strides in solar power technology and installations. Solar power is now economically-competitive in several of the warmer states throughout the country, and represents a promising industry for economic opportunities in the United States. Not only does this market growth promote climate change, it improves national security, clean domestic energy availability and job creation.
Ember LED, established in 2012, is part of this impressive progress and growth in the solar market throughout North America. Partnered with Valen Light, Ember LED develops and markets high powered solar LED and LED lighting systems to engineers, architects, electrical contractors and distributors. We create professional quality, architectural and commercial grade products that last up to 30 years, and are proud to take part in a technologically innovative and progressive movement towards utilizing renewable energies around the globe. And we are especially proud to work throughout the United States and Canada.
Happy Independence Day!
Solar Power: Brief History and Canadian Policy
Solar Power in the United States
Solar Power in Canada
Solar Energy in the United States