Solar energy is simply energy provided by the sun. Utilizing the sun’s rays to produce heat or electricity. It is one of the most promising renewable and reliable energy resources in the world and is unique for its ability to make energy in a discreet, uncontaminated, and a dependable manner with a long life span and low running costs. Solar Photovoltaics (PV) is a technology that creates sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal technology uses the sun’s energy to generate heat.
Some of the Advantages to a Solar System
Having a solar system in place can provide a return on financial investment at the same time having a positive effect on the environment. Using a solar system means you use less or even zero electricity from your electrical provider contributing to lower electrical costs and protects you from rate increases, fluctuating prices and carbon taxes. With the sun being a renewable resource and solar modules being very hardy, they are able to provide reliable electricity for years after the original monetary investment has been made back.
How a Solar System Works
A grid-tied solar PV system is uniquely planned out so it connects to the electrical power grid being both dependable and safe. During the day the PV Array creates electricity by harnessing the suns energy. Any surplus of solar production is transferred to the grid and at night or periods of low sunlight, the electrical grid will faultlessly meet your needs for electricity utilizing any credits you have created to reduce your overall costs.
Solar Energy in Canada
Solar energy is not only sustainable, it is renewable and this means that we will never run out of it. Most Canadian houses use between 5,000kWh and 13,000kWh per year. One kilowatt (1000 watts) of solar panels mounted with good exposure facing south, could generate between 1,000 and 1,400 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year.
Alberta is a Great Place for Solar Energy!
Alberta has large quantities of solar energy that is free and waiting to be used. Germany has been of the leader of global solar development. The map below shows that Alberta has a notably larger solar resource than Germany.
Selling Back to the Grid
Alberta has established, since January 1, 2009, that the energy dealer must buy back excess power at a rate the same to what the customer’s current retail rate is. Example: if you purchase for 8 cents per kilowatt hour you will receive a credit for 8 cents per kilowatt hour. This is referred to as Net Billing and you are required to have a Solar PV Utility Interactive system to feed back to the grid. In Alberta there are conversations in progress about bettering the price paid for solar electricity as well as discussions about paying for over production.
Solar System Costs
Over the past 20 years Solar PV systems have dropped considerably and can be installed at a very economical price where the return on your investment can be repaid within 10 years or sooner depending on your system. Due to the different sizes and configurations of each solar system the install costs can vary from $5,000 to $25,000.
Return on Investment
Having a solar system in place will provide you with a positive return on your financial investment while also having a healthy effect on the enviroment. Using a solar system means you use less or even zero electricity from your electrical provider contributing to lower electrical costs and protecting you from rate increases, fluctuating prices and carbon taxes. With the sun being a renewable resource and solar modules being very hardy, they are able to provide reliable electricity for years after the original monetary investment has been made back.