Solar power in Canada is becoming exceedingly popular due to an abundance of open space, large houses, and reasonable solar resources. Utility prices are also high, and several rebate programs are available across the country. This article will briefly explore some of the factors that have contributed to an explosion of interest in solar power in Canada over the past few years.
Solar Rebates in Canada
As is expected, rebates are a major driver of the market – and several provinces have rebate programs in place to help ease the up-front cost of switching to solar. Programs exist in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Rebates range from 20%-33% of the total system and installation costs.
However, as with many countries, Canada will have to learn to survive without rebates in the very near future. The Alberta and Saskatchewan rebates are due to end this year, the Ontario GreenOn rebate will be short-lived, and Manitoba’s rebate has already expired.
Nevertheless, with each round of rebates being released in different areas – general awareness about the workings and feasibility of solar power increase. This is always good for the market and is a significant contributor to recent growth and interest that we have seen.
Solar Resources in Canada
Contrary to popular believe, Canada receives a fair amount of solar irradiation (light energy). The average system in Canada produces 1,133 kWh/kW/yr. This number is ahead of even Germany (which is seen as a global leader in solar). The province of Saskatchewan has the best solar resources and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has the worst.
Other concerns tend to focus around the cold weather and the snow. However, according to research performed by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Alberta – solar panels that are not cleared after a snowfall will only produce approximately 5% less energy over the course of the year compared to panels that are cleared of snow.
This is far less than the 15% energy output fluctuation that is expected due to normal variations in cloud-cover. Thus, snow is not a major issue of concern, just a small pest. And as we all know – cold weather makes energy production more efficient. So that’s a non-issue.
Utility Factors in Canada
The utility prices in Canada also tend to play into the favour of solar power adoption. Not only is electricity reasonably expensive (with the cost increasing yearly), but people are also getting fed-up of coal fired power plants, and energy use is quite high in the winter when it gets cold.
All of these utility-related factors mean that switching to solar power (under a proper net-metering program) can represent a large amount of yearly savings to the average homeowner.
Summary of Solar Power In Canada
By now it should be obvious why solar becoming a popular energy alternative for Canadian homeowners. Rebates, resources, and utility prices are beginning to work in sync to drive the market in a positive direction. For more information about solar power in Canada, visit https://solarpanelpower.ca.