What is Solar Energy?
In simple words, Solar Power is the free and clean energy from the sun. Our sun is a giant nuclear power plant that provides the earth with enough energy in one hour to fulfil most of its energy needs for months! And yet we spend billions of dollars every year on exploring oil and other finite sources of energy!
With today’s technology Solar panels can be used to convert the pure energy from the sun into an endless supply of electricity. The solar technology today can help Canadian families save on their energy bills while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a major contributor to global warming.
Families can produce 20%, 50%, or even 100% of their annual electrical needs with a solar system right on their own roof!
Solar Power and the World:
Amazingly, Solar technology has been around for thousands of years. The history of using the sun’s energy to dry our clothes, make fire, or even use concentrated sun’s rays to fight harmful insects can be traced back to hundreds of years before Christ. However, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that scientists discovered that light can be directly used to generate electricity.
First Commercial Solar cells became available as early as 1956, however, the high cost of these early systems had limited their use mainly to high tech applications such as powering communication satellites. Today, thank to the advancements in the technology and a significant drop in the prices of Solar Photovoltaic modules investing in Solar technologies has never been more affordable for residential and commercial consumers!
Today countries such as Germany are at the forefront of Solar Power generation and have long term plans to generate a large portion of their electric power from renewable energy sources in the next few decades.
The high fossil energy cost and its negative effect on the environment as well as the falling solar technology prices has made inverting in this technology a legitimate answer to the search for alternatives to fossil fuel!
Solar Power in Canada:
Across Canada, home owners are adding solar panels to their roofs to save electricity and to reduce their power bills. They are choosing to use their own solar energy first, and many homes meet 20%, 50% and even 100% of their annual power needs from their rooftop system. They are choosing to use green energy over nuclear and coal. Since prices for solar power in Canada have fallen dramatically over the past 5 years, solar power systems are now affordable.
These Canadian Solar Energy Programs make it easier for Canadians to integrate solar power systems into their homes. Solar power systems last for decades, so home owners will continue to save money on their power bills for years to come. An investment in solar energy is an investment in your family’s financial future.
Solar Power in Ontario:
Ontario encourages its residents to use solar to reduce their power consumption. While the province enjoys clean generation from Hydro plants, the supply is limited. As needs grow province wide, expensive upgrades and new generation will be needed. Hydro One would like customers to reduce power consumption, and considers self-generation from solar a key to its future.
Solar installations, whether on a residential roof, ground mounted on an acreage, or on commercial roofs, produce power for its owners at costs close to buying utility power now. If the power is not needed during the day, it can be exported back to Hydro One as part of their Net Metering program, for a credit. The customer then uses this credit against power used at night, or during the winter.
Other programs like MicroFIT will pay residential and commercial customers up to $0.31/kWh generated. This could generate revenues as high as $5000/year which is typically enough to cover the initial installation cost and provide families with a guaranteed great return on investment for 20 years!