Ontario’s New Electricity Incentive Program

Posted by Admin on July 11, 2012

Last month, the Industrial Electricity Incentive Program was introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Energy with the intention to create more local jobs in the industrial sector. Starting next January, eligible companies would receive reduced electricity rates if they create new jobs and bring in new investments to Ontario. These new companies and businesses would be able to receive contracts for up to 20 years for power costing $55 per mWh, instead of the current rate of about $75 per mWh.

The companies would be able to apply to two streams; stream 1 being for companies looking to create new operations in Ontario (making a minimum investment of $25 million) and stream 2 being available to companies with established projects and operations in Ontario with the condition that they expand their current operations. This program would not affect electricity rates for regular consumers.


Electricity Costs to Rise Sharply by the End of the Decade

Posted by Admin on July 5, 2012

The average cost per kilowatt-hour will rise by more than 50 percent by 2020. While the average household in Canada spends $100 a month on their electricity bills, the average bill will rise to over $150 by 2020.

British Colombia and Ontario residents are already feeling the rise, with BC Hydro raising their rates almost 8 percent last year, while promising a 30 percent hike over the next three years. Ontario also predicts a rise of 46% by 2015.

Ontario and other provinces currently install “smart” electricity meters that use time-of-day billing, with peak time rates during the day and lower costs in the evening and on weekends. While electricity in Canada is comparably low to other countries due to the use of existing hydro plants that were paid off years ago, prices will go up due to the plants aging and inability to support the entire country’s needs.

Regardless of the type of plants that will be built, they will be extremely costly, with the costs being paid by customers in the country.


Solar Myths Defeated

Posted by Admin on June 29, 2012

Even though solar panel technology has been around for a long time, a lot of people find themselves hesitant in adopting solar technology on their roofs due to many misconceptions regarding solar panel systems. One myth argues that photovoltaic panels require constant sunlight. However, in reality, panels mostly require UV radiation over direct sunlight. Even when the sky is cloudy, the panels will function with full potential. In fact, panels work even more efficiently when they’re cooler.

Another myth is that pv panels cannot handle winter temperatures and precipitation. However, panels are almost maintenance-free even in the winter. South-facing panels even help melt the snow and keep it off and still collect a lot of solar energy. They also protect the roof from weather damage. Another myth concerns the visual appeal of installing solar panels. While some may think that panels will dampen the esthetic appeal of their property, in actuality, solar panels can even come as solar shingles for a sleek, black roof. They also increase the value of the property and protect the roof from weather damage.

Some people think that solar panels require a lot of maintenance. However, since panels can survive extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, normal weather will not affect the efficiency of the panel. The panels are easy to clean, all you need to do is hose them off periodically.

Solar energy is efficient, free, does not damage the environment, and will lead to savings in the long run. While the initial investment may seem excessive, they pay for themselves in the long run and save the homeowner a substantial amount of money every year.

To read more about these myths, click here.

To learn more about installing your own solar panel system, contact us today!

Scottsdale, Arizona Solar Energy Projects

Posted by Admin on June 28, 2012

The city of Scottsdale is creating shade and collecting solar energy simultaneously with their plan on installing solar-shade structures in the parking lots of many schools in the area. Through these structures and the installation of pv panels on the rooftops of schools, the school district will cover almost 25% of their energy needs and will save $300,000 every year.

Green Choice Solar, a company based in Scottsdale, recently completed a 1.32 solar system at the Jewish Community Campus, which includes rooftop panels and solar canopies covering 400 parking spaces. This system covers 90% of the campus’s energy needs and will save over $15 million over its lifetime.

All of the planned projects throughout Scottsdale should be complete by this September. This city has been advocating green energy, and specifically solar energy, for over a decade. Green energy is even a requirement in all the municipal buildings.

To find out about having your own solar panel system, click here to find out about Ontario’s solar programs.


Net Zero Energy Buildings

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2012

Buildings consume almost half of all energy produced in the United States, and the number is growing. The IEA predicts that if India and China’s energy consumptions reach the same levels as the US, their consumption would be four and seven times greater than they have been in recent years.

There have been several plans on improving this consumption, including the plan to use a two-pronged approach. First, all buildings must be designed to consume less energy. Second, the buildings must have a way of generating some energy to offset their consumption. This concept is referred to as NZE (Net Zero Energy Buildings).

The IEA argues that the most effective and affordable method for the energy generation step of the plan is through PV solar panel systems. The decreasing costs of using solar energy have increased interest in this renewable energy generation source.

To find out how to make your property a Net Zero Energy Building, contact us today!


Solar Energy: Beneficial to the Economy

Posted by Admin on June 14, 2012

National Petroleum Council released a report last year arguing that the development of both new and old oil and natural gas resources should create 1.1 million jobs in slightly less than 10 years. However, another report was prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute provides another perspective that shows that renewable energy could produce 2 million jobs in 2 years with the same amount of money as they would have put towards nonrenewable sources.

An example proving his hypothesis is solar energy. One hundred thousand Americans are already employed by the solar field in the United States and the industry’s job growth rate is more than 3 times higher than that of fossil fuel power generation. A 2011 census put together by The Solar Foundation indicates that solar companies expect to increase the number of solar workers by almost 25 percent by August 2012. When you factor in other renewable energy sources such as wind, biofuel, hydro, and geothermal, a high number of new positions in the renewable energy field can be predicted.


Renewable Energy: Simpler and Cheaper than Commonly Expected

Posted by Admin on June 5, 2012

While there are many common myths regarding renewable energy, Bill White’s article exemplifies why those myths are incorrect, by showing that renewable energy is inexpensive, reliable, and inexhaustible in comparison to its nonrenewable counterparts. He argues that renewable energy is actually reducing the prices of electricity for businesses and consumers. Since there is no fuel cost in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, using renewables actually lowers the market price of all electricity sold in the market.

There is the concern of the integration of renewable energy sources being costly, however, White argues that this process might be cheaper and simpler than expected. Integrating wind would be relatively simple, for example. This is due to its ability to be used at any given location, having forecast tools to accurately predict output, among other beneficial factors contributing to proper integration.

North America has far more than enough sources of renewable energy to completely meet the electric demand of the entire country. The only barriers to overcome are social and political, since there are no major downsides to using these sources of energy.

Samsung and Pattern to Build 250 MW Plant in Ontario

Posted by Admin on June 4, 2012

Samsung Renewable Energy Inc and Pattern energy Group LP announced their plans on building a 250 MW PV plant in Ontario. Construction of this plant is expected to begin in September, and will be operational by the spring of 2014. The two companies are currently awaiting approval for their application from the province.

Samsung has plans to install 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels in Ontario over five phases. To date, three of the facilities have been opened. The solar energy products produced will be used both in Samsung’s projects and exported globally.

Samsung is investing a total of CA$7 billion in Ontario. As the spokesperson explained, all project financing is being arranged by Samsung and its partners, under the conditions of its Green Energy Investment Agreement, signed with the Government of Ontario in January, 2010.


Canada’s Footprint: 8th Largest Worldwide

Posted by Admin on May 18, 2012

The WWF released their biannual Living Planet Report, exposing Canada for having the world’s 8th largest ecological footprint per capita. The statement even says that it would take 3 and a half Earths to support the current population if the entire race lived like Canadians do.

When examining the reasons behind the ridiculous footprint Canadians have created, the report stated that half of the issue is due to the broad use of fossil fuels. A study was also released alongside the report, showing that biodiversity decreased by 30% in the past 40 years.

The report also cautions that the demand on natural resources has doubled in the past 50 years and the high income, first world countries have footprints 5 times larger than low income countries. The WWF advises the use of renewable energy and recommends situating greater economic value on natural goods and services to help protect long term ecological health.


Using More Solar Power May Reduce, Not Increase the Cost of Electricity

Posted by Admin on May 16, 2012

Opponents of the solar industry constantly attempt to portray the solar energy field as an expensive venture. However, recent studies predict the decrease in the cost of solar energy if the market grows in popularity. If you examine Germany, with their booming solar market, you can see how widely solar energy is used, making it obvious that with the popularity, the accessibility and affordability are increased. Due to this boom in their country’s solar use, solar PV decreased peak electricity prices by 40%.

There is enough solar electricity on a sunny day in Germany to fully compensate the increase in energy usage due to air conditioning. Instead of using conventional, nonrenewable sources of energy to power this increase in utility usage, the country turns to solar to fill the difference, diminishing the price peaks during hot summer days.


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