The use of PV (photovoltaic) cells is a standard method for converting solar power into electricity. Once energy is converted to electricity, it can be either utilized or stored. One PV panel contains a collection of cells, which are either made of silicon/metal films or silicon wafers.
The quantity of electrical power produced will depend on the amount of sunlight that reaches the face of the panel. The power production diminishes due to cloud cover, variation in hours of daylight, snow or dust obstruction, and hail damage. Solar is a power source that depends on weather conditions.
Both commercial and residential buildings can install PV cells. Household projects are usually below 10kW. On the other hand, electrical plant farms can hit a considerable amount of megawatts.
Over time, the steady developments in panel manufacturing have lessened the production cost, including crystalline cells made of silicon, which are most prevalent globally. Nevertheless, solar power remains expensive compared to traditional energy sources, a barrier to the widespread adoption of the technology.
Solar Energy in Canada
Solar energy is a small-scale yet rapidly growing electricity source in Canada. In 2015, more than 2,100 MW were installed in Canada, producing 3 TW/hour yearly. Although that only accounts for 0.5% of electricity generation nationwide, solar projects continue to develop rapidly. In addition to that is 2,000 MW of volume since 2013. Moreover, 98% of solar power comes from Ontario.
Issues in the Market
The primary barrier to Candian adoption of photovoltaic production is cost. In 2016, the mean cost of PV energy was equivalent to 23 cents/kWh. Compared to other alternatives such as wind, the price for shifting to solar is higher. To promote its use, it relies heavily on incentive strategies for development.
In 2016, Ontario’s FIT (feed-in tariff) program offered the most incentives for solar energy. That is why 98% of PV capacity is situated in Ontario. FIT paid PV generators a maximum of 31.3 cents/KWh in 2016 for electricity production. It’s a huge jump, considering that way back in 2015, PV was responsible for roughly only 5% of Ontario’s power.
In 2020, Canada installed approximately 70MW of PV capacity. In addition to that is 166MW of power from the wind. According to CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association), the storage market continues to grow, and Canada has a sum of over 130MW over 250MWh storage capacity. Hopefully, the rise for shifting to solar will continue to grow.