A literature review was carried out for the purpose of summarizing the current conditions existing and affecting photovoltaics (PV) technology in a Canadian context. Information is presented concerning: PV device materials and efficiencies; PV cell manufacturing techniques; other materials/device designs; photovoltaic costs, markets, and research and development; PV and microelectronics; and Canadian strengths and opportunities. It was concluded that PV's simplicity, amenability to mass production and environmentally benign nature will likely assure it a faster and eventually greater market penetration than any other renewable energy form (and possibly some conventional forms). It is recommended that the Ministry of State, Science and Technology coordinate a joint microelectronics-photovoltaic research effort, by: indentifying areas where joint efforts would be mutually beneficial; identifying the strategic value of PV; identifying a set of goals for Canadian programs; coordinating efforts between government, universities and industry; developing supporting strategies for the mining and smelting of indigenous semiconducting materials; determining the economic support required to develop a silicon processing plant for the production of microelectronic chips and PV cells; developing Canadian expertise in providing complete PV systems competitive in world markets; and developing a marketing strategy for a coordinated PV/microelectronics effort. 60 refs., 17 figs., 12 tabs.