Solar Energy – Invest Medicine Hat

Solar Energy

Renewable Energy / Reports

If declining solar energy production costs and a favourable government renewable energy strategy can mix with Southeast Alberta’s leading solar resources, Medicine Hat is in a position to become a North American solar leader.

Opportunity

  • There are 270 MW of solar energy projects planned for South East Alberta.
  • Solar equipment prices are dropping quickly and South East Alberta has some of the best solar resources in the country.
  • With the right programs or incentives, Alberta’s 8 megawatts of solar capacity could begin catching up to Ontario’s 2,300MW, which currently lead the country.

Market Reports

  • Alberta’s Future Energy Mix: Exploring the Potential for Renewables (KPMG)
    • There is a growing consensus in the industry that increased demand and pending changes to existing policies are converging to support significant generation investments in Alberta, including new renewables.
    • The AESO estimates that 6,190 MW of new effective electricity capacity will need to be built in Alberta by 2022 to meet demand and that 12,965 MW will need to be installed by 2032.
    • Alberta’s solar resource is 25% better than Ontario’s and 30% better than Germany’s, according to CanSIA.
    • Southeast Alberta has some of the best solar resource in Canada. If you simply look at the average price then solar is not at grid parity in Alberta, but during times of peak generation and during hot summer days, solar makes sense.
    • The bulk of a solar photovoltaic (PV) generator’s margin will be made when the power price moves above $80 per MWh.
    • Investment in solar and wind could be catalyzed by a new renewable energy framework. An increase in carbon emissions targets and the carbon price is likely to bode well for renewables generation and drive large emitters to invest in renewable energy projects (primarily wind) for their offset potential.
    • solar PV could be more heavily deployed in the next five years if, as is widely anticipated, the government introduces policy that puts more pressure on industry to reduce carbon emissions and, in turn, incentivizes investment in renewables. Solar may also prove compelling due to its improving cost profile and superior output profile.
  • Solar photovoltaic roadmap (International Energy Association)
    • The geographical pattern of deployment is rapidly changing. While a few European countries, led by Germany and Italy, initiated large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) development, PV systems are now expanding in other parts of the world, often under sunnier skies. Since 2013, the People’s Republic of China has led the global PV market, followed by Japan and the United States.
    • PV system prices have been divided by three in six years in most markets, while module prices have been divided by five.
  • CanSIA Sector Profile 2012 (Canadian Solar Industries Association)
    • Overall, there were 289 MWDC of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed in Canada in 2011 representing over 335 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of power generation on an annual basis. This level of activity created $584 million of direct economic output and employed approximately 5,100 direct full time equivalents on an annual basis.
    • The Canadian PV industry has a shortage of approximately 3,800 FTEs to meet the likely demand through 2014.
  • Energy Efficiency Potential for Alberta (Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance)
    • Energy efficiency is an opportunity for Alberta to address environmental concerns while creating over 15,000 new jobs across the province in one year. Going aggressive on energy performance would also add up to $3 billion to the province’s annual GDP, and raise nearly $200 million/year in additional tax revenue as a result of increased economic activity. In summary, energy efficiency is a real low-hanging fruit for any government interested in GDP, jobs and revenue

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