Sofia (left) during at interview at 2022's Electricity Transformation Canada (ETC) at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. (pvbuzz)

Since joining pvbuzz, I’ve strived to share positive stories with Canadians.

I joined this industry-leading content and news publication at an exciting time for the solar industry in Canada.

From new federal and provincial government incentives and technological innovations to the growing adoption of solar, even in the country’s most remote areas, the past year has been one of significant growth and industry advancement.

Let’s look back on some of the most impactful stories of 2022 that forecast sunny days ahead.

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are the tallest twin structures in the world.Flickr/Hadi Zaher

1. Skyscrapers that make up iconic city skylines could reach net-zero or even net-positive energy consumption with solar panel windows.

With so many office buildings and condos known for their striking glass facades, recent research and analysis by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed great promise for these buildings becoming more energy efficient in the near future.

Imagining skyscrapers set to adorn the Toronto skyline being built with net zero in mind is a prospect worth advocating for!


About 1,300 sheep graze the Claresholm Solar farm. (Photo and Description by David Dodge, GreenEnergyFutures)

2. Editing Chris Rudorfer’s article was the first I heard about solar grazing.

This unexpected symbiotic relationship forming between solar companies and sheep herders was a fascinating read. Overgrowth can create patches of shade that render solar panels inefficient.

While many options are available for overgrowth, this article makes a case for why inviting sheep to graze on your solar farm is the way to go. I love a win-win situation, and solar grazing is just that!


The front and main entrance into the Green Container Home showcased at the CNE 2022. (Eric Ballance)

3. What I didn’t expect to stumble on at the CNE was a potential answer to Toronto’s housing crises.

These spacious and inviting modular off-grid homes could be the future of housing. Land can sit vacant for years before developers get the go-ahead to start their projects, and in the meantime, a modular housing community could be set up in a matter of weeks.

It’s already happening! In Vancouver, over the last three years, more than 650 temporary modular supportive homes have been created, providing immediate relief to hundreds of people without a home. So many possibilities.


1MW floatovoltaic test bed in Singapore, courtesy ABB.

4. Floatovoltaics and floating solar panels are recognized internationally as the next frontier for renewable energy.

Brett Porter’s article describes an exciting opportunity for the future of Toronto’s waterfront. Floatovoltaics have come a long way over the last five years, with some of the newest technology being as aesthetically pleasing as it is powerful.

I wrote about solar panel rafts currently being tested in the North Sea that reminded me of lily pads gliding over currents. In the solar world, there’s always something innovative in the pipeline.


Awasis solar panels stand on Cowessess First Nation Land about three kilometers southeast of Regina. (via the CBC)

5. One of the most uplifting stories I had the pleasure of writing last year was about how the Cowessess First Nation reserve is on track to becoming the greenest Indigenous community in Canada.

Chief Cadmus Delorme shared powerful words about the Awasis solar project. Delorme is hopeful the solar fields on Cowessess First Nation land will have a ripple effect on the children and youth of his community.

Growing up around successful renewable energy projects may inspire youth to think about studying science and engineering. “This is our contribution to getting them excited about what they’re going to do in university,” Delorme said. I couldn’t agree more. The best way to get the next generation excited about careers in renewable energy is to model the tremendous benefit these technologies can have in our communities.


IEA Solar PV Global Supply Chains (IEA, Paris)

6. After researching and writing about how China’s dominance over the solar panel production and supply chain poses a great threat to the world’s ability to meet its clean energy goals, it was wonderful to discover that one province has big plans to help the solar supply chain take root in Canada.

Recent industry announcements could make Manitoba a key manufacturing hub, enabling the solar supply chain to take root in Canada.

Manitoba could soon be home to a patterned solar glass manufacturing plant and a major supplier of lithium to meet North America’s growing demand. The province is also one of the region’s key shipping hubs, offering manufacturing locations ready access to markets and affordable shipping fees. Canada has an enormous opportunity to make a global impact in the renewable energy sector by bringing the solar supply chain home with Manitoba at the forefront, showing us the way.


Brackley Drive-In Theatre (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

7. A famous PEI landmark was saved by solar last year.

Bob Boyle, the owner and operator of a 60-year-old drive-in theatre on Prince Edward Island, faced mounting electricity bills after years of diminished theatre attendance due to Covid-19. He needed to find a solid solution-and fast.

Solar to the rescue!

The $110 000 Brackley solar panel installation brings PEI one step closer to being a net zero province. Hopefully, the project will also serve as an example of a business that operates primarily at night, effectively relying on solar energy. Who doesn’t love when solar has superpowers?


During the pandemic, heartbreaking stories were abundant.

I knew many people, myself included, who needed to take a break from social media when the headlines got too overwhelming. News alternated between sad, scary, and hopeless on what seemed to be an endless loop.

Which is one of the reasons I joined pvbuzz.

The renewable energy industry is an exhilarating and inspiring community to be part of. And I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share positive and uplifting stories year-round.

No matter how dark a situation seems, there’s always light.

It’s important that we can find it.

Sofia Martimianakis
Sofia is a writer who has public sector and renewable energy industry experience. She holds an HBA from the University of Toronto and an MA in English Literature from the University of Waterloo.

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