Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Byrne

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Sharpe

Advisor Role



Climate change, pollution, and energy security are driving a worldwide transition away from traditional fossil fuel generated electricity. As the world moves away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, electricity generated from photovoltaic solar panels is one of the most promising and capable technologies available today. Arguably the most suitable location to generate this electricity is at the source of consumption. Placing solar panels on unused rooftop space can subsidize the electricity demand that that building requires. This research quantifies the amount of electricity that can be generated within the City of Waterloo, Ontario. Using Natural Resources Canada data, examples from the literature and existing rooftop solar data, a range of possible values were calculated to illustrate the generating potential rooftop solar panels could have for the City of Waterloo. The range in values illustrated the overall potential of electricity generation from rooftop solar power under best to worst case scenarios. An overall value was then calculated based on total available area for five different land use types to illustrate the potential each sector could have for the City. Additionally, a range of values was also applied to the largest and cumulative average rooftop size for each land use type to further examine potential based on each land use type. This research is intended to serve as a possible template for similar studies in different geographic areas of Ontario as well as to influence future policy development surrounding renewable energy generation.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season