Solar power in Canada

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Canada's solar potential

Historically, the main applications of solar energy technologies in Canada have been non-electric active solar system applications for space heating, water heating and drying crops and lumber. In 2001, there were more than 12,000 residential solar water heating systems and 300 commercial/ industrial solar hot water systems in use. These systems presently comprise a small fraction of Canada’s energy use, but some government studies suggest they could make up as much as five per cent of the country’s energy needs by the year 2025.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells are increasingly used as standalone units, mostly as off-grid distributed electricity generation to power remote homes, telecommunications equipment, oil and pipeline monitoring stations and navigational devices. The Canadian PV market has grown quickly and Canadian companies make solar modules, controls, specialized water pumps, high efficiency refrigerators and solar lighting systems. Grid-connected solar PV systems have grown significantly in recent years, and reached over 1.8 GW of cumulative installed capacity by the end of 2014.

Solar potential

Canada has plentiful solar energy resources thanks to its large area, with the most extensive resources being found in southern Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.[1][2] The country has however a relatively low level of solar irradiance due to its high latitude. This, combined with cloud cover, results in a low 6% capacity factor, compared to a 15% capacity factor in the United States.[3] The northern territories have a smaller solar potential, and less direct sunlight, because of their even higher latitude.

By region

Ontario

With the introduction of a Feed-in tariff (FIT) in 2009, Ontario became a global leader for solar energy projects. The program was the first of its kind in North America.[citation needed] Thanks to the FIT program, Ontario was the home of what was temporarily the largest solar farm in the world (in October 2010) until surpassed by larger farms in China and India. Located in Sarnia, Ontario, the 97 megawatt[4] Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant can power more than 12,000 homes.[5] Ontario has several other large PV power plants, other than the Sarnia plant. The 23.4 MW Arnprior Solar Generating Station was built in 2009, and is expected to expand to 80 MW.[6] A 68 megawatt solar farm is in Sault Ste. Marie, and a 100 megawatt solar farm is planned for Kingston, Ontario.[7][8]

The most recent concentrated solar thermal power and storage technologies were barred from the FIT. The reason offered was that the technologies are not proven in Ontario climate.[citation needed]

The FIT program is intended for installations over 10 kW, while the microFIT program is to encourage the development of micro-scale renewable energy projects, such as residential solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. The microFIT program provides a rate of $0.802/kWh for rooftop mounted solar panels.[9] On July 2, 2010 the microFIT's program rate (for ground-mounted systems only) was lowered to $0.642/kWh by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).[10] This new rate means consumers investing in solar energy through the Ontario microFIT Program will experience a drop in profit margin from a 25% range to 10%.[11] On April 5, 2012 the rate was reduced to $0.549/kWh.[12] The 2012 target is for 50 MW to be installed.[13] As of August 7, 2012, 9,764 applications for the FIT have been submitted, totaling 8,504 MW. 1,757 applications have been submitted for the microFIT program, totaling 16 MW.[14] Ontario plans to end coal generation by 2014.[15]

Ontario is expected to reach 2,650 MW of solar PV by 2015.[16] As of December 2016, Ontario's solar energy installations have the capability of generating 1,947 MW. These installations are expected to produce on average 280 MW per month for the province, 1% of the province's energy needs.[17]

Statistics

History of Canadian PV deployment in megawatts since 1996[18]
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
Photovoltaics[19][20]
Year Σ Installed
(MWp)
Δ Installed
(MWp)
Generation
(GWh)
1992 0.96
1993 1.23 0.2
1994 1.51 0.3
1995 1.86 0.4
1996 2.56 0.7
1997 3.38 0.8
1998 4.47 1.1
1999 5.83 1.3
2000 7.15 1.4
2001 8.83 1.6
2002 10.00 1.2
2003 11.83 1.8
2004 13.88 2.1
2005 16.75 2.85
2006 20.48 3.75
2007 25.77 5.3
2008 32.72 6.9
2009 94.57 61.87
2010 281.13 186.43
2011 558.29 297 400
2012 765.97 268
2013 1,210.48 444.51
2014 1,843.08 632.60
2015 2,240[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Canadian Solar Power Resource Maps 2018". solarpanelpower.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Photovoltaic and solar resource maps". www.nrcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  3. ^ http://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/0484(2016).pdf pg90
  4. ^ "Large-scale photovoltaic power plants ranking 1 - 50". pvresources.com. Archived from the original on 1 January 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Enbridge completes Sarnia solar farm". CBC News. 4 October 2010.
  6. ^ "EDF Commissions 23.4-MW Arnprior Solar Plant". www.renewableenergyworld.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  7. ^ nurun.com. "Going big on solar energy". The Kingston Whig-Standard. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Kingston – Samsung Renewable Energy Inc". www.samsungrenewableenergy.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  9. ^ "microFIT News and Overview". microfit.powerauthority.on.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Ontario Power Authority Cuts Solar Rates". CBC News. 16 July 2010.
  11. ^ "Ontario microFIT Program - Ottawa Solar Power". 8 September 2011.
  12. ^ "microFIT News and Overview" (PDF). microfit.powerauthority.on.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  13. ^ "microFIT News and Overview". microfit.powerauthority.on.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  14. ^ "FIT Overview" (PDF). fit.powerauthority.on.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Ministry of Energy » Ontario's Electricity System". www.energy.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  16. ^ Paul Gipe (23 March 2011). "Ontario's //Solar PV Installations May Surpass California in 2011". Renewable Energy World.
  17. ^ "Supply Overview - IESO". 17 May 2017.
  18. ^ collected data from article growth of photovoltaics
  19. ^ "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017" (PDF). epia.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  20. ^ "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Canada 2014". iea-pvps.org. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Data and Statistics - IRENA REsource". resourceirena.irena.org. Retrieved 18 April 2018.


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