Canada receives a significant amount of solar radiation compared to other International Energy Agency (IEA) nations. It is important to recognize that from April to September, on average, Canadian cities receive over 90% of solar radiation as in Miami, Florida. However, due to our geographic location and climatic conditions, the solar radiation is more abundant in the summer months and relatively low during the winter season when our energy demand for space heating is at a peak. Underground thermal energy storage (UTES) may be implemented in rocks or soil via a series of vertical borehole heat exchangers or in deep aquifers. This paper will review recent technological advances in the area of high temperature underground thermal energy storage in Canada, including the construction of the first community-scale solar heated, inter-seasonal thermal storage system in Canada. A vast amount of knowledge and experience relating to UTES has been documented. Engineers need to become familiar with this promising technology so that this tool could be made available to business stakeholders in the development of an efficient energy management system. A significant quantity of fossil fuel is required to meet our heating and cooling demand. We have an opportunity to capture the energy potential and utilize the stored energy to displace a large portion of the fuel used for space heating and cooling and make a significant contribution to our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals.
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