Solar Energy in Canada: All You Need to Know
Canada is in an excellent position to become a worldwide leader in clean energy production. Solar energy is essential in Canada’s push toward a future based on renewable energy. It’s critical to understand why we should go solar and how this type of energy might be properly utilized. This post will answer the most frequent questions about solar power in Canada.
What are the main uses of solar energy in Canada?
Solar energy is the conversion of solar radiation into heat and light. It has typically been utilized through passive solar technologies, which include the deliberate placement of buildings and their other aspects, such as windows, overhangs, and thermal masses.
The use of sunlight for illumination and space heating significantly reduces the need for electrical or mechanical equipment. Solar energy can only be harvested during the day when there are no clouds, structures, or other obstructions blocking the sunshine.
There are now two functioning solar technologies that involve electrical or mechanical equipment. Solar collectors or panels are used to heat water or ventilate air, while solar photovoltaic technology converts sunlight into direct current by utilizing solar cells.
Is solar energy viable in Canada?
Solar energy’s potential varies in different regions of Canada. The potential in coastal regions is lower owing to increased cloud cover and higher in the central areas. Around the world, the solar potential is even more diverse. In general, many Canadian cities have a solar potential that rivals many major cities across the globe. Thus, installing solar panels on the roofs of residential homes might supply half of Canada’s home energy demands.
National solar power generation in 2016 was almost 30 times greater than it was in 2010. And it is anticipated to grow from 3.6 TWh to almost 13 TWh by 2040, based on the country’s current economic climate.
What is the future of solar energy in Canada?
Let’s begin with the most recent facts:
- In 2021, the growth of solar energy was 13.6%.
- Almost all of Canada’s solar capacity growth took place in Alberta (250 MW). Then Saskatchewan with 21 MW, Quebec (9.5 MW), Nova Scotia (4.8 MW), Ontario (0.3 MW), Yukon Territory (1.5 MW), and Prince Edward Island (0.1MV).
According to the projections of the CanREA, by 2022 and 2023, solar installations are expected to grow further. Several projects are presently under construction or have entered the early stages of development.
More than 3,000 MW will be commissioned by the end of 2022, and a similar amount in 2023. New promises were made across Canada last year, which will lead to increased solar energy deployment in Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Nova Scotia after 2023.
Canada is only now beginning to profit from its enormous untapped solar energy potential. It is one of the key components of Canada’s efforts to combat climate change as the country’s most cost-effective way of generating new decarbonized electricity. It will, however, necessitate the addressing of numerous legislative, regulatory, and infrastructure hurdles to enable a far greater number of installations at an increased speed.
The CanREA’s research has shown that for Canada to fulfill its pledge to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we will need to build more than 5,000 MW of new wind and solar energy each year for the next 30 years.
Where can solar energy be used in Canada?
The greatest solar photovoltaic (PV) generation capacity in Canada is in Saskatchewan’s cities. On average, municipalities in Saskatchewan are exposed to the most sunshine, followed by Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.
While all Canadian provinces and municipalities have solar PV potential, the way that much of it is exploited varies significantly. Solar PV potential is limited by a variety of factors, not the amount of sunshine available. Climate, latitude, and altitude are the most significant variables affecting sunshine exposure. Solar potential is influenced by snow cover significantly as solar absorption is hampered if the panels are covered with snow. On the other hand, snow reflects sunlight, which implies that solar panels may also reflect light when encircled by snow.
Ontario has offered incentives for renewable-energy projects since over 98 percent of Canada’s solar power generation capacity is currently situated there. Solar PV module costs have dropped considerably, making solar energy far more competitive. With lower prices and some proposed renewable-portfolio standards, it is anticipated that solar energy generation will increase in other areas of Canada, particularly those with significant PV potential.
Why is solar energy important to Canada?
Solar energy eliminates flaws in established energy technologies long regarded as unchangeable. It has the following advantages:
It is renewable
Raw materials are limitless and inexhaustible. The quantity of available solar energy is staggering – roughly 10,000 times more than humans require now. When harnessed correctly, solar energy has the potential to replace every other fuel source currently utilized. It only takes 0.02 percent of incoming light to fulfill this objective.
It is eco-friendly
Solar power is a low-emitting energy source. Although solar panels produce no air pollution, they create environmental consequences through their manufacture and installation.
However, compared to the harm caused by traditional energy sources, these environmental costs are insignificant. Fossil fuel combustion emits roughly 21.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
It creates jobs
Solar power offers a wide range of employment options. Solar panel manufacturing is becoming an increasingly popular source of work in research, production, distribution, and installation.
Solar panels have no moving parts and make no noise, while wind turbines require noisy gearboxes and blades. Solar power is profitable long-term.
Solar panels and their installation have high upfront expenditures, but energy bill savings quickly offset these costs.
Solar energy is dependable. Many people prefer solar power since it is largely unaffected by the failures of utility providers, caused by political or economic instability, terrorism, natural disasters, or brownouts due to overuse.
What is needed to set up solar panels?
Having covered the most common questions about solar energy, you may not be surprised to learn why solar panels are an increasingly popular choice for many Canadians. Solar energy systems are not only environmentally beneficial, but they can also save you money on your energy bills and provide a long-term return on investment. They don’t consume much space or need much maintenance. If you decide to put solar panels on your home, talk to an experienced engineer first. If installed correctly, you may continue to take advantage of solar energy for many years.