Solar Energy

Solar Energy Facts

  • In Canada, Solar Photovoltaic technology has become a preferred form of renewable energy and is the fastest growing renewable energy technology in the world
  • Ontario is the first province to aggressively support the development of solar energy generation by contracting with projects using Photovoltaic panels
  • Solar energy stat: Of the energy the sun releases, only 60% actually hits the earth’s surface. If only 0.1% could be transformed to energy at an efficiency rate of 10% it would produce 4 times the world’s total energy producing capacity of 3,000 GW
  • During the last 5 years, the capacity of PV energy increased an average of 60% a year
  • Solar energy installations are increasing by 50% yearly
  • In 2009, the world on-grid PV capacity was approximately 21 Gigawatts, up 7 GW from the previous year

Solar PV, Existing World Capacity, 1995-2009

Solar PV Existing World Capacity 1995-2009

Advantages of Solar Energy

  • Solar energy is renewable. Unlike fossil fuels. The sun will never run out
  • Solar energy is friendly to the environment. It does not release harmful gases and directly contributes to the decrease of green house emissions.
  • Solar cells make no noise while absorbing energy
  • Solar cells are long-lasting and require very little maintenance
  • Solar energy is a good investment and eventually pays for itself. In the long run it is cheaper then buying electricity from a provider which requires a monthly bill and no return on your money
  • Governments provide tax credit/incentive for purchasers of solar systems

How Solar Panels Work

  • Solar panels are combined of many photovoltaic cells, which are often silicon (semi-conducting material) based pieces of material that absorb the suns light
  • The solar energy excites the electrons and they are knocked loose from their atoms, which allow them to flow through the material to produce electricity
  • A collection of solar panels converts the solar energy into direct current (DC) electricity 
  • The direct energy then enters an inverter which turns the DC energy into 120-volt Alternating current (AC) electricity which is needed by most household appliances