Canada is known for its natural beauty, from the Rocky Mountains to the picturesque prairies. We know that the use of fossil fuels negatively impacts the landscapes that make our planet diverse and healthy. By using solar energy, we can lighten our ecological impact on our forests, oceans, and farmlands.
When people think about renewable energy, there are two main reasons why they’re hesitant to invest in it:
- The cost. It’s no secret that solar energy has a large upfront cost. But in recent years, the expense of installing solar power systems has fallen significantly. This is due, in part, to innovations in technology and incentives offered by the government.
- Concerns about limited solar energy production. Modern households have high energy demands. We need an ample supply of electricity to power our appliances, HVAC units, and countless electronics. Some property owners may be concerned that their solar panels won’t be able to generate enough electricity, but with a properly sized and optimized solar array, you can generate enough energy to power your home or business.
By harnessing the solar potential in this country, Canadians can look forward to a greener future. We’ve put together an overview of the current landscape for renewable energy in Canada:
Solar Energy Potential in Canada
The amount of electricity that your panels generate is determined by the hours of sunshine it receives each day. Depending on which province you live in, the solar potential will vary.
Even though Canada is a snowy place, parts of the country see significant amounts of sunshine each year. A few of the sunniest cities include Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. In the coastal provinces, where cloudy days are more frequent, you can still use solar energy to supplement your electricity needs.
The cost of installing solar resources is what holds many people back from utilizing renewable energy. Solar electricity will pay for itself in approximately 10 years, although times vary depending on how much energy you produce and the province you live in. You can further your investment by generating additional solar electricity and selling it to utility companies.
In Canada, home and business owners can integrate their solar power systems with the power grid. This allows you to profit from the solar energy that you produce. With a grid-tied system, you can sell electricity generated by solar panel systems back to your local power company. These are called net metering or billing programs. The rates for electricity will differ depending on which province you’re located in.
Interested in learning more about the solar potential in your area? With this interactive map, you can estimate solar energy production across Canada. Use the provided map to assess the solar potential in your area:
map courtesy of https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/
This map displays the different UV levels across Canada; when an area has a high concentration of UV rays, it has a greater potential for solar energy generation. For example, we can see that the highest concentrations of UV rays are in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
The energy generated by solar power systems is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). In simpler terms, this refers to how many watts of electrical energy are used in an hour. The higher the kWh production of your panels is, the more energy you can use. On the map, you can see how much electricity solar panels can produce in different provinces.
There is a high potential to generate solar electricity across the country. Canadians can take advantage of incentive programs and net metering to get a faster return on their investment. Take advantage of solar energy to lower your utility bills, reduce your fossil fuel emissions, and keep our planet healthy for future generations. For more information about solar energy and energy potential in your province
visit our Solar Resources page.
The Effects of Cold Temperatures on Solar Panels
Can you produce adequate solar energy in a country that’s covered in snow for half the year? The answer is yes—photovoltaic panels utilize sunlight, not heat, to generate electricity.
In fact, panels work more efficiently in cooler temperatures. When it’s cold outside, the level of resistance in electrical circuits is lower. This facilitates higher solar energy production. The performance of solar panels actually decreases in hotter temperatures.
When Canadians think about maintaining solar panels, many are concerned that heavy snow will damage them or inhibit their ability to produce electricity. But snow is not as problematic for the panels as you might think.
Due to their angled position, most snow will naturally slide off the smooth surface. Any snow that remains will be melted by the sun’s rays—the dark colour of the panels attracts heat and speeds up the melting process. Overall, snow has an insignificant effect on solar potential in Canada.
Wind Energy Potential in Canada
On a windy day, gusts can be so strong that they can knock you flat on your back. Now imagine the potential power those winds could generate if they were collected via turbines.
Another type of renewable energy in Canada is wind energy, which is harnessed by wind turbines. You might have seen these towering industrial-sized turbines if you’ve ever driven through the prairies.
When wind hits the blades of the turbine, it feeds into a generator that produces electricity. Just like solar power systems, these machines utilize natural resources to produce power. Compared to hydroelectricity and diesel, wind energy has a lesser impact on the environment.
The cost of installing wind turbines tends to be lower than that of solar arrays. Places like Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the Maritimes have some of the highest potential for wind energy production. There are opportunities to utilize wind turbines across the country.
Learn More about Solar Power in Canada
Renewable energy is the future of electricity generation. To protect our planet and reduce the cost of energy, home and business owners can install these eco-friendly systems to produce electricity.
At SRB Energy, we provide solar panels in Canada. We carry everything you need to start generating solar energy, from batteries to inverters. Check out our extensive product selection today.